Tuesday, March 20, 2012

When your government (i.e. Syria) tries to smother news


"Kareem: I was the smuggler. The reason for my job was the complete blackout over the province of Dier ez-Zour and the fact that the government would slow down the Internet, block YouTube, and Facebook. It was impossible to upload a video. But once we had enough footage, I drove from Dier ez-Zour to Damascus. I had to pass three checkpoints on each trip. The checkpoints were long, with many people waiting an hour and a half at each one. Tanks, machine guns, and other military gear and personnel were stationed at the checkpoints, so I had to find different ways to smuggle out the videos. Saving the data on small micro-chips, we had to be clever about where we hid the footage because anyone caught filming protests is sent to prison. Issac knew this. He was imprisoned.
Guernica: What happened to Isaac?
Kareem: Isaac went to jail. Recently, he was released. His family pressured him to flee the country immediately. He didn’t say goodbye to me. He didn’t say goodbye to anyone. The risks are that high. I’m not sure what happened to him. We lose touch with friends like that."

This will be the new battle for some time.  The protesters gain a new technological advantage, and the government finds a way to stop it.  So the protesters have to discover a work-around.  And on it goes.

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