ICT and the Iran Election
Submitted by Jon on Sun, 06/14/2009 - 10:01
The Daily Dish reposts a call to action from Twitter: ALL internet & mobile networks are cut. We ask everyone in Tehran to go onto their rooftops and shout ALAHO AKBAR in protest #IranElection, and comments:
That a new information technology could be improvised for this purpose so swiftly is a sign of the times. It reveals in Iran what the Obama campaign revealed in the United States. You cannot stop people any longer. You cannot control them any longer. They can bypass your established media; they can broadcast to one another; they can organize as never before.
I find it wonderful that these things are possible, and that social media and mobile technology continue to outpace censorship, but this honeymoon is drawing to a close. Whether it be disabling SMS during Moldova "pman" protests, or arresting twitter users in Guatemala, and the more stringent methods Iran seems to be employing - cutting phone lines and dragging Internet access to a crawl, not to mention shutting down SMS pre-election (and in China, before The Tianenmen Square Anniversary) governments are wising up and becoming more proactive in moderating and censoring citizen media.
I mentioned this after the DC Mobile For Change conference here, and I continue to worry about it. Any centralized network is susceptible to control - meaning that the amazing new tool we have in mobile technology for immediate information (especially during crises, is at risk of being crippled where it could be most useful.