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Turning Off the Internet: Protest Edition (links)

Egypt: ‘If you want to liberate a country, give them the internet’.  “Wael Ghonim, the young Google executive who has became a symbol of Egypt’s pro-democracy uprising after he launched the original Facebook page credited with sparking the initial protest, called the Egyptian upheaval, ‘Revolution 2.0.'”  (via Wired)

Libya: ‘Shutting off the Internet seems to be one of the last things in the playbook in terms of a dictator that’s being threatened by uprisings.’ “In particular, an Internet blackout in Libya will make it tougher for people outside the country to know how the uprising is unfolding. That was likely the government’s main motivation in shutting down the Internet in a country where people are more likely to communicate using cell phones.” (via MSNBC)

Algeria: ‘The government doesn’t want us forming crowds through the internet.’ “The Algerian government later denied that access to the internet or social networking websites had suffered any disruption or restriction on its part. A spokesman for the Algerian Embassy in London dismissed the claim as ‘baseless’. Meanwhile Facebook said there was no evidence of notable disruptions to their service, nor of accounts being deleted.  But a spokesman for Algerian internet monitor Remyses said: ‘It is possible that the blockages of the internet were not visible from abroad, according to the Iranian ‘strangulation’ model or by the cutting of domestic connections.'” (via The Telegraph)

Tunisia: ‘The problem is not filtering, the problem is who filters and based on what law.’ “At first, the regime banned around 300 websites, but as internet use grew throughout the country –- from 1 percent of the population in 2000 to 37 percent as of last November –- the blacklist bloated to more than 2,000. When the government started going after proxies, Saadaoui said, the number jumped to many thousands. He estimated that around a thousand of the blocked sites were political, and the rest were proxies.” (via Wired)

Wisconsin: a violation of free speech? : “Former Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General Charles Hoornstra said that, if Walker is blocking the website, it could be a violation of state and federal laws concerning free speech laws. The accusation by the Wisconsin Democratic Party accompanies an accusation by the Teaching Assistants Association that Wisconsin state authorities cut off wifi access to a room they had taken over as a headquarters inside of the Capitol.” (via ThinkProgress)

See also: Egypt and the Internet (RWX)

About Jean Cook

Jean Cook is a musician, producer and Director of Programs for Future of Music Coalition, a national nonprofit that works to improve the lives of musicians through research, education and advocacy on policy issues that directly impact the ability of musicians to make a living and reach audiences. She is a founder and director of Anti-Social Music, a New York-based new music collective, and currently records and tours with Ida/Elizabeth Mitchell, Jon Langford, and Beauty Pill. For FMC, she currently project directs initiatives to fix jazz and classical music metadata, analyze what is actually played on jazz radio (and how to improve data collection), and understand how copyright impacts indigenous artists in places like Ethiopia, Tajikistan and Australia.

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