Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

Revolution 2.0

Wael Ghonim, the Google executive who set up a Facebook page that was a prominent force in helping galvanize the January 25, 2011 revolution in Egypt, has said, "If you want to liberate a society, just give them the Internet." While things aren't so simple, and authoritarian governments are also using technology to control their populations and suppress movements for change, there's no question that organizers and activists are using the net to rattle and in some cases help overthrow powerful regimes. Here's a select set of some of techPresident's best coverage and commentary.

WeGov

After 3-Day Internet Shutdown, Syria's Regime is Now Targeting Activists with Powerful New Malware

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, December 6 2012

When the Syrian Internet system was cut off last week, observers feared the regime had cut the civilian population off for good so that the army could do its worst without having to worry about activists filming massacres and uploading the footage to YouTube. In fact the Internet was restored after three days. But now the regime is using powerful new malware to target activists. Read More

Wael Ghonim: Why 'Engagism' is More Valuable Than Activism

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, February 20 2012

Wael Ghonim at Harvard Kennedy School, February 3, 2012. Photo by Martha Stewart.

Micah Sifry writes: "Ghonim's new book, "Revolution 2.0--The Power of the People Is Greater Than the People in Power: A Memoir," is a revelation ... It is both a careful and thoughtful retelling of the roots of Egypt's uprising and the nuts-and-bolts of Ghonim's online organizing as well as an inspiring illustration of a trend that will be familiar to many techPresident readers. That is, how a new generation that is growing up networked keeps spawning "free radicals"--people who teach themselves how to use technology to build community, share powerful messages and then ultimately weave movements for social change." Read More

Book Review: Consent of the Networked

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, February 3 2012

Book cover for Rebecca MacKinnon's "Consent of the Networked"

Last night, a crowd of more than one hundred gathered on the sixth floor of MIT's Media Lab to help Rebecca MacKinnon launch her new book, The Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom. The audience included net luminaries like Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, and Andrew Newman, the director of the Tor Project, and the discussion was at the same level. Herewith, my thoughts on her book salted by some observations from the event. Read More

For Activists, the Syrian Internet Hasn't Gone Dark — It's Just a Dark Place

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, July 13 2011

Fear of Syrian government retaliation against people who use social media to find and coordinate protests is now keeping Syrians off those platforms, Reuters reports: I am too scared to speak about my political activity ... Read More

Meanwhile, Back in Tunisia, They're Drafting a Constitution on PiratePad

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, March 9 2011

Well, not exactly. But we keep seeing hints and signs that the revolutionary spirit of Tunisia is heavily influenced by open source culture, or what BoingBoing might call "happy mutant" thinking. To wit, on March 4th, ... Read More

How Social Media Accelerated Tunisia's Revolution: An Inside View

BY Colin Delany | Thursday, February 10 2011

Originally published on Epolitics.com Did Twitter and Facebook "cause" the Tunisian Revolution and the protests in Egypt? Not according to Malcolm Gladwell, as he and others have questioned the role of social media in ... Read More

Wael Ghonim, Egypt, and Viral Revolution

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, February 9 2011

Image by celinecelines Read More

Egypt, Tunisia: Generation TXT Comes of Age?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, February 1 2011

While I completely agree with Matthew Ingram, whose post "It's Not Twitter or Facebook, It's the Power of the Network" should be must-reading as an antidote to all the overheated media commentary about which tech tool is ... Read More

Tech and the Pooling of Tunisians' Disgust

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, January 18 2011

Image credit: magharebia Read More

Who Organized Tunisia's Revolution?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Saturday, January 15 2011

I'm trying to finish my Qwikileaks book, but events in Tunisia and the commentary around them spurs this quick comment: Read More

A "Twitter Revolution"? A Second Look at the Uprising in Moldova

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, April 10 2009

Back in my high school days, I hosted a sophisticated little soiree amongst some close friends that happened to turn into a raging kegger requiring of police intervention. How'd it happen? One friend called another, who ... Read More

Egyptian Activists Challenge Facebook-Enabled Diplomacy 2.0

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, December 4 2008

The anonymous Egyptian youth activist with the Shabab 6 April movement at today's Alliance of Youth Movements Summit at Columbia University law school had a bone to pick with Facebook, but reserved his ire for the ... Read More

SEND TIPS>

Got Tips, leads, or suggestions for tech President? Email tips@personal-democracy.com

WEEKLY DIGESTS>

Sign up to receive weekly debriefings from techPresident.

News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

NYC Open Data Advocates Focus on Quality And Value Over Quantity

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications plans to publish more than double the amount of datasets this year than it published to the portal last year, new Commissioner Anne Roest wrote last week in an annual report mandated by the city's open data law, with 135 datasets scheduled to be released this year, and almost 100 more to come in 2015. But as preparations are underway for City Council open data oversight hearings in the fall, what matters more to advocates than the absolute number of the datasets is their quality. GO

Civic Tech and Engagement: Announcing a New Series on What Makes it "Thick"

Announcing a new series of feature articles that we will be publishing over the next several months, thanks to the support of the Rita Allen Foundation. Our focus is on digitally-enabled civic engagement, and in particular, how and under what conditions "thick" digital civic engagement occurs. What we're after is answers to this question: When does a tech tool or platform enable actual people to make ongoing and significant contributions to each other, to a place or cause, at a scale that produces demonstrable change? GO

monday >

Tweets2Rue Helps Homeless to Help Themselves Through Twitter

While most solutions to homelessness focus on addressing physical needs -- a roof over the head and food to eat -- one initiative in France known as Tweets2Rue knows that for the homeless, a house is still not a home, so to speak: the homeless are often entrenched in a viscous cycle of social isolation that keeps them invisible and powerless. GO

Oakland's Sudo Mesh Looks to Counter Censorship and Digital Divide With a Mesh Network

In Oakland, a city with deep roots in radical activism and a growing tech scene at odds with the hyper-capital-driven Silicon Valley, those at the Sudo Room hackerspace believe that the solution to a wide range of problems, from censorship to the digital divide, is a mesh net, a type of decentralized network that is resilient to censorship and disruption and can also bring connectivity to poor communities.

GO

More