Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Authoritarian Middle Eastern governments harass individual protestors in cyberspace

Much as had been reported earlier with a few countries, especially Egypt, now authoritarian regimes in the Middle East are using the Internet to strike back at protestors, sometimes hacking their accounts with spyware, and sometimes smearing their reputations online and urging them to be targeted, according to a Washington Post story Sunday by Mary Beth Sheridan, “Autocratic regimes fight web-savvy opponents with their own tools”, link here.

Whereas Facebook and Twitter have been credited as helping launch the Arab spring, there’s some blowback in that regimes have been using the same tools.

There is increasing debate, also, on the authority under international law to apprehend dictators like Gadhafy who commit crimes against their own people (could this discussion have applied to Saddam Hussein?)  Reuters and MSNBC had a typical story, here. Could cyberterror figure into international law this way?  In any case, any day now there could be another sudden announcement from the White House, this time on Gadhafy's end, I suspect. 

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