Saturday, February 19, 2011

"Can Egypt's Internet Movement Be Exported?"

Ari Melber (The Nation):
“Official Washington had no appetite for regime change in Egypt,” notes Evgeny Morozov, a leading skeptic of the power of digital uprisings, “while Silicon Valley managed to contribute to undermining Mubarak.”

As the world has now seen, the resilient protestors who gathered in Cairo were continuously broadcast, and often organized, through social networks built in Palo Alto. Yet Morozov, an author and agitator who has met with democracy activists in Cairo, cautions against downloading the wrong lessons from Egypt, as he recently explained in an interview with The Nation.

Egypt’s transformation does not illuminate our understanding of how most dictators combat web uprisings, he argues, because Egypt did not really fight the web in the first place.
The answer to whether Egypt-style uprisings succeed in other countries will depend, at least in part, on how those networks are operated by American companies, and how they respond to pressure from governments around the world. MORE...

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