“He has got two Sim cards, two pseudonyms, a dangerous addiction to nicotine and when his laptop is open, which it always is, his fingers dance across the touch pad in a mad ballet of digital information sharing.

‘That was AP calling,’ says the self-declared Syrian cyber activist, referring to the international news agency whose competitor Reuters was recently expelled from Damascus for reporting on the Syrian uprising. ‘They wanted us to confirm with video. Confirm with video? Not yet! I mean, come on!’ ”

From Al Jazeera