Sunday, April 15, 2012

Another article reminding us that the net can be used against protest too

"He writes that linking up on Twitter makes activists today more vulnerable to the regime they’re fighting, than, say the Algerian insurgency was against the French in the late 1950s. The Algerian fighters had tight, person-to-person cells that were difficult to penetrate. 'The whole point of these platforms is ease of access and use …  they are inherently easy to penetrate. As such, social media is the exact opposite of a useful tool for a revolution.  Had Twitter existed in the 1950s, perhaps Algeria would have stayed French for another decade or two.'"

ICA is a tool.  You use it as best you can.  You must realize that your opponent (the cult, repressive regime, whatever) is also aware of the usefulness of the Internet, and they have resources to utilize more powerful tools than you have access to.  With that in mind, it's a matter of being careful and smart.  You learn how to stay anonymous when it's important.  You don't keep emails from fellow protesters to be found when you are arrested.  If it's a horrid, tech-savvy regime like in Syria, there's some things you just don't do or you will get caught.

So I see this as a constant battle for staying ahead of the other side.  You stay sharp, stay informed, and do your best.  I'm reminded of the White Rose Society during World War 2.  They printed and distributed anti-Hitler fliers anonymously.  But eventually they got caught during one distribution.  It's a risk.  Do you take that risk?

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