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Political Revolution and the Internet

Th mission of this Working Group is exploring the question, "Why Are So Many Countries Throwing Out the Governments Now?"  Why are the authoritarian governments that are trying to suppress the will and actions of those that would throw them out of office shutting down the internet in their countries?

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Albert Gomez Amanullah Hotak Gina Angiola mdmcdonald

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Protesters gather around the world for Million Mask March

Demonstrations in more than 400 cities were planned to coincide with Guy Fawkes Day, with Russell Brand at a London protest.  Russell Brand: we deserve more from our democratic system

Protesters wearing the white-faced Guy Fawkes masks that have become synonymous with the Occupy movement and the hacktivist grouping Anonymous have taken part in hundreds of gatherings around the world in opposition to causes ranging from corruption to fracking.

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Egyptian Troops Deployed to Keep Order After Brotherhood Offices Attacked

cnn.com - by Reza Sayah and Greg Botelho - June 28, 2013

(CNN) -- Egyptian troops canvassed streets Friday after a fresh spate of violence in the volatile North African nation, hoping to prevent a repeat of the bloody, chaotic revolution of two years ago, a military spokesman said.

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Spain Hit by New Wave of Street Protests

aljazeera.com - October 7, 2012

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Crowdsourcing Democracy Through Social Media

submitted by Tim Siftar

Georgia Tech

ATLANTA – Oct. 11, 2011 – Today the citizens of Liberia will participate in just their second presidential election since the country emerged from a brutal civil war in 2003, and in such an environment the specter of violence or other unrest is never far away. But what if social media, a Georgia Tech professor is asking, could identify and even help prevent dangerous situations from occurring?

When nearly 40 million Nigerians took to the polls last April to elect a new president, many of them went online to share comments about their chosen candidates on blogs, Twitter or other social media platforms. They also used these new media tools to report what they saw. “Listening” to much of it was Georgia Tech Associate Professor Michael Best, which just might have saved a few lives.

During the election, Best provided technical support for a Nigerian group that wanted to use social media as a means for tracking the election process and identifying any problems that cropped up. Best and his team of researchers designed a social media aggregator tool that could pull content from about 20 different sources (including Twitter) and analyze the data in real time using keywords.

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Video - The Israëli Awakening?!

submitted by Theresa Bernardo

YouTube - uploaded by jeaunkes - August 3, 2011

An Israeli girl starts a peaceful protest of the high cost of living, with Facebook and a tent.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Yj-Uo5mpAD0

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Facebook Becomes Divisive in Bahrain

Voice of America - August 17, 2011

       

A Bahrain woman looks at pictures of victims of the February 14 uprising, displayed at an exhibition during a gathering held by the Al Fateh Youth Union in Isa Town, south of Manama, Bahrain, July 28, 2011

It has been six months since anti-government protests inspired by the successful uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt first erupted in Bahrain. And as in Egypt, many Bahrainis used social media Internet sites such as Facebook to help organize the protests. The Bahraini government is now using Facebook, too - apparently to track down and arrest the protesters.

It is questionable whether the Arab Spring ever would have amounted to much without social media on the Internet. In most cases, as more and more frustrated youths turned to their computers to express their discontent, an increasing number of people left their homes to publicly demand change.

The term “Facebook Revolution” was coined after the successful ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. And in Bahrain, the social networking site also played a role in encouraging people to participate in the nation’s “Day of Rage” protests on February 14, and in the pro-democracy demonstrations that followed.

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United Nations Report: Internet Access is a Human Right

Los Angeles Times - June 3, 2011

Internet access is a human right, according to a United Nations report released on Friday.

"Given that the Internet has become an indispensable tool for realizing a range of human rights, combating inequality, and accelerating development and human progress, ensuring universal access to the Internet should be a priority for all states," said the report from Frank La Rue, a special rapporteur to the United Nations, who wrote the document "on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression."

La Rue said in his report that access to the Internet is particularly important during times of political unrest, as demonstrated by the recent "Arab Spring" uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, among other countries.

From the report:

The Special Rapporteur believes that the Internet is one of the most powerful instruments of the 21st century for increasing transparency in the conduct of the powerful, access to information, and for facilitating active citizen participation in building democratic societies.

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