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 wednesday >

In Mexico, A Wiki Makes Corporate Secrets Public

Earlier this year the Latin American NGO Poder launched Quién Es Quién Wiki (Who's Who Wiki), a corporate transparency project more than two years in the making. The hope is that the platform will be the foundation for a citizen-led movement demanding transparency and accountability from businesses in Mexico. Data from Quién Es Quién Wiki is already helping community activists mobilize against foreign companies preparing to mine the mountains of the Sierra Norte de Puebla.

GO

thursday >

NY Study Shows How Freedom of Information Can Inform Open Data

On New York State's open data portal, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation has around 40 data resources of varying sizes, such as maps of lakes and ponds and rivers, bird conservation areas and hiking trails. But those datasets do not include several data resources that are most sought after by many New York businesses, a new study from advocacy group Reinvent Albany has found. Welcome to a little-discussed corner of so-called "open government"--while agencies often pay lip service to the cause, the data they actually release is sometimes nowhere close to what is most wanted. GO

Responding to Ferguson, Activists Organize #NMOS14 Vigils Across America In Just 4 Days

This evening peaceful crowds will gather at more than 90 locations around the country to honor the victims of police brutality, most recently the unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on Saturday. A moment of silence will begin at 20 minutes past 7 p.m. (EST). The vigils are being organized almost entirely online by the writer and activist Feminista Jones (@FeministaJones), with help from others from around the country who have volunteered to coordinate a vigil in their communities. Organizing such a large event in only a few days is a challenge, but in addition to ironing out basic logistics, the National Moment of Silence (#NMOS14) organizers have had to deal with co-optation, misrepresentation, and Google Docs and Facebook pages that are, apparently, buckling under traffic.

GO

More