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Friday, June 19, 2009

Repression Begets Ingenuity

Yigal Schleifer writes:

Before Iran, there was Moldova, which had its own (unsuccessful) "Twitter Revolution" back in April, when young activists used online tools to coordinate protests against the country's dubiously reelected Communist government. In Egypt, meanwhile, a new generation of activists has come to embrace Facebook and Internet-based social networking applications to protest (again, mostly unsuccessfully) their repressive government.

But new-media experts say that Iran's civil resistance movement is unique because the government's tight control of media and the Internet has spawned a generation adept at circumventing cyber roadblocks, making the country ripe for a technology–driven protest movement.

"This is a country where you have tens of thousands of bloggers, and these bloggers have been in a situation where the Internet has been filtered since 2004. Anyone worth their salt knows how to find an open proxy [to get around government firewalls and filters], knows how to work around censorship," says Ethan Zuckerman, a research fellow at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society in Cambridge, Mass. "The Iranian government, by filtering the Internet for so long, has actually trained a cadre of people who really know who to get around censorship."

link: Why Iran's Twitter revolution is unique |


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