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WeGov

In Wake of Public Outcry, Iran Lifts "Indefinite" Block on Gmail After One Week

BY Lisa Goldman | Monday, October 1 2012

One week after announcing that access to Gmail and Google search would be blocked indefinitely in the Islamic Regime of Iran, regime officials restored access to the popular online platforms while claiming that they had unintentionally blocked them while trying to filter the crude anti-Islam film, "Innocence of the Muslims." Meanwhile, the Ministry of Telecommunications launched its own official email service, which requires users to register. Read More

WeGov

Interactive Map Tracks Defections of High Ranking Syrians

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, September 20 2012

Screenshot of Aljazeera's interactive map of Syrian defections.

As Syria's civil war rages on, with no end in sight, defections of high ranking citizens — government officials and arm officers — continues. An interactive map produced by Aljazeera English tracks the defections, provides context and details. It's an excellent resource for Syria watchers. Read More

Interactive Map Raises Questions About America's War in Yemen

BY Lisa Goldman | Friday, September 14 2012

Screenshot shows PBS Frontline's interactive map of America's War on Yemen.

A detailed interactive map shows the escalation of America's war in Yemen over the past decade. It also raises many questions about the motives and goals of the war, but leaves it to the readers to think about the answers. Read More

WeGov

Tunisia Announces Intention to End Internet Censorship

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, September 13 2012

Nearly two years after the ousting of long-time authoritarian leader Ben Ali, Tunisia has announced that Internet censorship will be lifted. Under Ben Ali, Tunisia was classified by Reporters Without Borders as an Enemy of the Internet. Many restrictions have been eased since the revolution, but there are signs that the government has not really stopped snooping. Read More

WeGov

Websites as Political Organizers

BY Lisa Goldman | Tuesday, September 11 2012

A prominent Egyptian activist and labor organizer explains in detail how websites can be used for effective political organization. Includes fascinating data about the rise in Internet access amongst the very poor, whose primary portal is increasingly their mobile phones. Read More

WeGov

In the Middle East, Marginalized LGBT Youth Find Supportive Communities Online

BY Anna Lekas Miller | Thursday, September 6 2012

Image from Shutterstock.

In the Middle East, where homosexuality is so taboo that until very recently there was no word to describe it in Arabic, LGBT youth are increasingly turning to the Internet for support and community building. Read More

WeGov

Jordanian Websites Go Dark in Protest of Proposed Legislation to Censor Internet

BY Lisa Goldman | Friday, August 31 2012

On Wednesday, Jordan's Internet went dark (screenshot from 7iber.com)

More than two hundred Jordanian websites went dark on Wednesday to protest proposed government legislation that would give the government sweeping powers to censor the Internet. In contrast to other Middle Eastern countries, Jordan's government, because of its unique economic and geographical circumstances, cares very much about public opinion. Read More

WeGov

Crowdsourcing Disaster Response Via Social Media and SMS

BY Lisa Goldman | Monday, August 27 2012

In two detailed and important blog posts, Patrick Meier explains how grassroots activists are using social media platforms and mobile phones to coordinate disaster relief, often when the government's response is inadequate. In many cases, Meier points out, the grassroots networks existed already, having been created as a means of coordinating political protest. Read More

The Egyptian Twittersphere, 18 Months Into the Revolution

BY Lisa Goldman | Saturday, August 25 2012

Cairo demonstrator (photo: Mosa'ab Elshamy)

In January 25 they were the face of the Egyptian revolution. Young, tech savvy, fluent in English, Cairo-based activists tweeted constant updates from the streets of the Egyptian capital. Their photos, videos and live reporting catapulted many of them to celebrity, especially after Hosni Mubarak resigned. Where are they today? Read More

WeGov

Young Iranians Use Mobile and Social Media to Mobilize Grassroots Relief for Earthquake Victims

BY Lisa Goldman | Tuesday, August 21 2012

In response to the government's poor response in delivering aid to earthquake survivors in northeast Iran, young middle class people from Tehran are mobilizing grassroots relief efforts to collect and deliver supplies via social media platforms, circumventing the government's block on Facebook via VPNs. Read More