netwit 2.01

Post-Revolt Tunisia Can Alter E-Mail With `Big Brother’ Software

Post-Revolt Tunisia Can Alter E-Mail With `Big Brother’ Software

Vernon Silver, Bloomberg, 12 December 2011

Link to Bloomberg News investigation ‘..across the region that reveals how governments use Western surveillance technology to track dissidents. ‘

December 14, 2011 Posted by | surveillance technology, Tunisia | | Leave a comment



March 22, 2011 Posted by | Tunisia, U.S. diplomatic cables, U.S.Embassy cables, WikiLeaks | Leave a comment

#Internet #Socialmedia #Evegenymorozov – Setting up a straw dog? [] []

First Thoughts on Tunisia and the role of the Internet

Evgeny Morozov, Foreign Policy, 14 Jan 2011

“What strikes me about events in Tunisia is that social media seems to have failed in what many of us thought would be its greatest contribution (outside of social mobilization) — that is, in helping to generate and shape the coverage of events in the mainstream media. On the contrary, despite all the buzz on Twitter it took four weeks to get the events in Tunisia on the front pages of major newspapers, at least here in the U.S. (the situation in Europe was somewhat better — and it was way better in the Middle East — for all the obvious reasons). “

Reading that is a reminder governments have always used the latest technology against their people as effectively as peoples used it against their governments. It’s just different technology. The Ancient Regime smashed printing presses. The political groups set up other ones to pump out the revolutionary pamphlets. In pre-revolutionary Russia, the government would have tapped plenty of phones abuzz with the news that the sealed train containing Lenin had set off from Zurich.

The irony is that self-appointed social media gurus have set up straw dogs which they themselves find they are having to drag down. And that includes Morozov, who apparently was some sort of blog specialist.

To try to make an argument in a large book, that the downsides of social media out-way the ups, is hard to pull off.

Social media proved very effective in U.S. elections.

To argue that they are of little use or their effectiveness in social mobilisation is minimal because authoritarian regimes are quick to use the same media to catch internet activists, is little different from saying regimes rounded up activists before social media existed. It’s probably true, in the case of Tunisia, many more Tunisians outside Tunisia were Tweeting and using FaceBook than inside it. But these messages will have been in Arabic and French which some inside Tunisia got to read and pass on in some way or another. They still used the telephone, email and read the papers, listened for radio from all round the world and watched satellite TV. No one is suggesting that social media were the only avenue for protest and social mobilisation. Words of encouragement will have spread by less high tech means. Comms didn’t begin and end with social media. This is the internet-centrist position, which is only to be expected from people who live by the internet, web and clever software.

Anti-government activism in Iran started with blogs, long before FaceBook and Twitter. They arrested bloggers. Just because the Iranian election protests were organised with the help of mobile phones, text messaging, and social media, and this helped the government to track the activists, doesn’t mean to say it wasn’t effective.

A more honest and true answer, and one that didn’t need a whole book to argue is that it helped both in different ways. That governments have learnt to hack social media, can surely only mean that pretty good encryption will be taken up by greater numbers.

January 29, 2011 Posted by | Evgeny Morozov, Internet, internet activism, Internet censorship, Internet filtering, Tunisia, Tunisian cyberactivists, Twitter | Leave a comment

#Tunisia #socialmedia #Twitterrevolution Two articles against the role of social media in Tunisia

Tunisians don’t need advice from the Twittering classes

– The inspiring uprising springs from people’s aspiration for real freedom, not from Western Wikileakers revealing ‘the truth’ to Africans

Brendan O’Neill, Spiked magazine 18 Jan 2011

Not Twitter, Not WikiLeaks: A Human Revolution

Jillian C York,   14 Jan 2011

January 28, 2011 Posted by | social media, Tunisia, Twitter, WikiLeaks | Leave a comment

#netactivism #evgenymorozov ~ #corydoctorow examines The Net Delusion []

We need a serious critique of net activism

The Net Delusion argues that technology isn’t necessarily good for freedom – but how else can the oppressed have a voice?


Cory Doctorow

Guardian, 25 Jan 2011

January 27, 2011 Posted by | cognitive infiltration, Cory Doctorow, cyber-utopianism, Evgeny Morozov, Internet, internet activism, internet-centrism, Iran, net activism, Open data, slacktivism, Tunisia, Twitter | Leave a comment

#INTERNET #internetcensorship ~ Internet censorship in Australia and how it compares to other countries

Internet censorship in Australia

Australia is a surprising example of internent censorship. There was a recent TV report of the opening of the Canberra Cybersecurity Centre, to which American officials were invited.

When you look at the Reporters Without Frontiers map, even if you don’t know the colour code, it is easy to work one out, with China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Tunisia and Cuba the darkest most censored countries. This suggests Australian and South Africa are next worst, which might surprise some. Since the yellow is Britain, the U.S., etc, and Africa is a light blue: this can only mean since Africa’s internet development is not advanced it won’t censor much, but that that the yellow countries do censor to some extent.

A small amount of research shows the issue of internet censorship by country isn’t as straight forward as one might assume. Nation-State Routing: Globalizing Censorship has tables which purport to show the effect of a country’s domestic internet censorship policies on international traffic. Again, another surprise: The U.S. is top of the list followed by Britain and Germany with China 8th. Another measure shows:

“Collectively, these results show that the ‘West’ continues to exercise disproportionate influence over international routing, despite the penetration of the Internet to almost every region of the world, and the rapid development of China and India.”

Perhaps cipherpunk Julian Assange knew something we didn’t and was keen to get out of there!

Why not try Herdictweb, a project of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, where you can type in a website to see if it is blocked. Can’t be bothered? Just watch the map at the top highlighting inaccesible sites and when.


Website Maps Global Web Blocks
Herdict uses volunteers to monitor Internet censorship, filtering, and outages.

January 22, 2011 Posted by | Citizen 2.0, Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act [COICA], connective knowledge, connectivism, cyber security, cyber terrorism, Internet censorship, routing censorship, Tunisia | Leave a comment

#WIKILEAKS #USembassycables #France #2005 []

US embassy cables: France under fire over support for Tunisia

Guardian, 18 Jan 2011

* cable date: 16 Nov 2005

* last section :

7. (C) Comment: We view this controversy as indicative of the degree to which President Chirac’s “stability first” and tradition of cultivating close relations with aging Arab world dictators is increasingly out of step with current realities and prevailing media opinion in France. While the media focus on the Boltanski attack may subside in coming days, we expect that the GoF will remain vulnerable to further domestic criticism for inaction on human rights issues in Tunisia — as the MFA speculated, as long as Chirac remains president. End comment. Please visit Paris’

January 18, 2011 Posted by | France, Tunisia, U.S. diplomatic cables, U.S.Embassy cables, WikiLeaks | Leave a comment

#TUNISIA #Mohamed Bouazizi #Czechoslovakia #Jan Palach [] ~ 16 January 1969 ~ emulation immolation ~ copycat suicide [] ~ social proof []

Wiki:Jan Palach

“It was not so much in opposition to the Soviet occupation, but the demoralization which was setting in, that people were not only giving up, but giving in. And he wanted to stop that demoralization. I think the people in the street, the multitude of people in the street, silent, with sad eyes, serious faces, which when you looked at those people you understood that everyone understands, all the decent people who were on the verge of making compromises.”

January 17, 2011 Posted by | Czechoslovakia, Jan Palach, Mohamed Bouazizi, Tunisia | Leave a comment