“When Omar Shibliy Mahmoudi exchanged sweet nothings on the Muslim dating site Mawada, it wasn’t for love but for liberty.
To avoid detection by Libyan secret police, who monitor Facebook and Twitter, Mahmoudi, the leader of the Ekhtalef (“Difference”) Movement, used what’s considered the Match.com of the Middle East to send coded love letters to rally the revolution.
On the site, the revolutionaries used poetry laced with revolutionary references to gauge support and make initial contact. Then they had detailed follow-up conversations via text message and Yahoo Messenger.”
From ABC News
Posts tagged “Egypt”
“Libya is the latest North African country to experience internet trouble as democratic protests continue to sweep the region.
The massive Saharan country, long controlled by the dictator Moammar Gadhafi, has suffered “rolling blackouts” of its internet connections during the regime’s ongoing violent crackdown on protestors, according to the internet traffic monitor Renesys.
The cause of these internet service cuts, however, remains uncertain. Possibilities include a government crackdown, an internet traffic overload or simple power outages, said Jim Cowie, Renesys’ co-founder.”
Professor Ron Deibert, Citizen Lab and Canada Centre for Global Security Studies Director, spoke with Masala Canada – Radio Canada International about online freedom of expression and Internet surveillance. Professor Deibert also discussed the lessons that can be learned from the recent Internet freedom controversy in Egypt.
“Opposition to Muammar Gaddafi was inconceivable in Libya for four decades. But that was before the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings embraced the power of the Internet. Now Libyans are hoping their revolution will also be tweeted.
This week, the video-sharing Web site YouTube was inundated by amateur footage of violent anti-government protests that rocked the second-largest city of Benghazi Tuesday.
The footage was picked up by major international news organisations and a multitude of Twitter users and Facebook pages as Libyan opposition groups prepared for Thursday’s “Day of Rage”.”
“Epitaphs for the Mubarak government all note that the mobilizing power of the Internet was one of the Egyptian opposition’s most potent weapons. But quickly lost in the swirl of revolution was the government’s ferocious counterattack, a dark achievement that many had thought impossible in the age of global connectedness. In a span of minutes just after midnight on Jan. 28, a technologically advanced, densely wired country with more than 20 million people online was essentially severed from the global Internet.”
From The New York Times
“With Facebook playing a starring role in the revolts that toppled governments in Tunisia and Egypt, you might think the company’s top executives would use this historic moment to highlight its role as the platform for democratic change. Instead, they really do not want to talk about it.
The social media giant finds itself under countervailing pressures after the uprisings in the Middle East. While it has become one of the primary tools for activists to mobilize protests and share information, Facebook does not want to be seen as picking sides for fear that some countries — like Syria, where it just gained a foothold — would impose restrictions on its use or more closely monitor users, according to some company executives who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were discussing internal business.”
From The New York Times
“Days after Facebook and Twitter added fuel to a revolt in Egypt, the Obama administration plans to announce a new policy on Internet freedom, designed to help people get around barriers in cyberspace while making it harder for autocratic governments to use the same technology to repress dissent.
Ron Deibert, the director of the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto, said that governments had been shifting from blocking the Internet to hacking and disabling it. Even in the United States, he noted, the Senate is considering a bill that would allow the president to switch off the Internet in the event of a catastrophic cyberattack.”
From The New York Times
“WASHINGTON — The White House says Iran’s government is showing it’s scared of the will of its people by cracking down on opposition leaders and blocking international media outlets in the wake of Egypt’s uprising.
Press secretary Robert Gibbs says the Iranian government should allow its people to demonstrate and assemble peacefully.”
From The Washington Post
“Social media did not make the revolution in Egypt happen. But, with every step chronicled in real time and broadcast to anyone with an Internet connection, it hastened its pace and transferred the voice of international scrutiny from sovereign leaders to a community of millions. When it comes to pressuring an authoritarian leader to step down, the heat has never been turned up so quickly.
As entrepreneur Habib Haddad tweeted about the whole thing, ‘Social media has lowered the cost of revolution.’ ”
“Amnesty International has urged the Azerbaijani authorities to stop the harassment of activists, after two members of an opposition youth organization were apparently targeted this week for using Facebook to call for anti-government protests.
Jabbar Avalanche, a member of the Azerbaijan Popular Front Party’s (APFP) youth group, has been jailed for two months pending trial on drugs charges after he posted on Facebook calling for a “Day of Rage” inspired by protests in the Middle East and North Africa.”