Friday, January 14, 2011

Tunisian uprising, government change abetted by social media

The media has reported today about the protests, curfews, and government change in Tunisia, but the Internet appears to have played a role.

In fact, the Tunisian government reportedly had carried out javascript injection attacks to identify and trackdown online dissent.  Eva Galperin at the Electronic Frontier Foundation has a detailed story, with a recommendation at the end of the article that Facebook break its “one identity instance” rule in authoritarian countries and allow pseudonyms or anonymity.   Protestors have already used Facebook to galvanize political change in other countries like Pakistan, as David Kirkpatrick noted in his book “The Facebook Effect” (Books blog, July 6, 2010). The EFF article is here. The article also considers the value of encryption (https) in protecting web visitors from authoritarian countries, something political bloggers should consider. 

Oiver Queen in Smallviile “Armchair bloggers created a generation of critics rather than leaders”.  Maybe that is changing.

Here is a CNN video on the role of social media in the Tunisian revolt.


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