Faine Opines

Southeast Asia, liberation technology, drones, and pontification

#Censorship Fail: Repressive Governments Are Scared of Social Media – UN Dispatch

Social media is incredibly scary to repressive governments because it is just about impossible to control. Many authoritarian governments even look to incredibly censored North Korea and Eritrea as role models, instead of cautionary tales. Although the US government has announced sanctions against countries that try to block Internet access, international disapproval is unlikely to sway these oppressors from their path - especially when a nation finds itself worried about popular revolution, ala Syria and Iran.

Here’s some recent example of governments’ attempts to block out the Internet – particularly in those countries where, to some extent, the proverbial cat is already out of the bag. (Once people have access to the Internet and some modicum of wealth, getting them to give it up is a lot harder – another reason North Korea and Eritrea present something of a perfect scenario to many dictatorial regimes).

Although these are disturbing cases of government repression in action, I also find these cases rather heartening – mainly because government attempts to prevent Internet access rarely last very long, or work particularly well. It’s also worth pointing out that stagnant development and heavy censorship have a nasty habit of going hand-in-hand.

Read more at UN Dispatch….

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2 Comments

  1. Craig Etcheson

    May 25, 2012 at 6:53 am

    Additional examples are legion, if not endless, but knowing that Cambodia is close to your heart, I would add that the Royal Government recently announced a new regulation requiring security cameras in all Internet shops. The hordes of mom and pop Internet cafe operators all responded in perfect unison, “Say what?” We’ll see how that goes.

  2. Like the KI-Media fiasco wasn’t enough. However, knowing Cambodia’s organizational abilities (or lack thereof), I doubt they’ll even attempt to enforce it. Who the hell can afford a security camera?

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