Liberation Technology Social Media and the Struggle for Democracy

ISBN-10: 1421405687
ISBN-13: 9781421405681
Edition: 2012
List price: $20.50 Buy it from $8.51
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Description: The revolutions sweeping the Middle East provide dramatic evidence of the role that technology plays in mobilizing citizen protest and upending seemingly invulnerable authoritarian regimes. A grainy cell phone video of a Tunisian street vendor's  More...

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Book details

List price: $20.50
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 8/10/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 208
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.638
Language: English

The revolutions sweeping the Middle East provide dramatic evidence of the role that technology plays in mobilizing citizen protest and upending seemingly invulnerable authoritarian regimes. A grainy cell phone video of a Tunisian street vendor's self-immolation helped spark the massive protests that toppled longtime ruler Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, and Egypt's "Facebook revolution" forced the ruling regime out of power and into exile. Yet while technology has been instrumental in freeing Egypt and Tunisia (earning it the label "liberation technology"), other cases—such as China and Iran—demonstrate that it can be deployed just as effectively by authoritarian regimes seeking to control the Internet, stifle protest, and target dissenters. This two-sided dynamic has set off an intense technological race between "netizens" demanding freedom and authoritarians determined to retain their grip on power. Liberation Technology brings together cutting-edge scholarship from scholars and practitioners at the forefront of this burgeoning field of study. An introductory section defines the debate with a foundational piece on liberation technology and essays discussing the popular dichotomy of "liberation" versus "control" with regard to the Internet and the sociopolitical dimensions of such controls. Following chapters delve into the cases of individual countries: China, Egypt, Iran, and Tunisia.This book also includes in-depth analysis of specific technologies such as Ushahidi—a platform developed to document human-rights abuses in the wake of Kenya's 2007 elections—and the cyber-censorship circumvention tool alkasir, which has been used widely throughout the Middle East. Liberation Technology will prove an essential resource for all students seeking to understand the intersection of information and communications technology and the global struggle for democracy.Contributors: Walid al-Saqaf, Daniel Calingaert, Ronald Deibert, Larry Diamond, Philip Howard, Muzzamil M. Hussain, Anahi Ayala Iacucci, Mary Joyce, Rebecca MacKinnon, Patrick Meier, Evgeny Morozov, Xiao Qiang, Rafal Rohozinski, Mehdi Yahyanejad

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Liberation vs. Control in Cyberspace
Liberation Technology
Liberation vs. Control: The Future of Cyberspace
International Mechanisms of Cyberspace Controls
Whither Internet Control?
Liberation Technology in China
The Battle for the Chinese Internet
China's "Networked Authoritarianism"
Liberation Technology in the Middle East
Ushahidi as a Liberation Technology
Egypt and Tunisia: The Role of Digital Media
Circumventing Internet Censorship in the Arab World
Social Media, Dissent, and Iran's Green Movement
Policy Recommendations
Challenges for International Policy
Index

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