Tag Archives: protest

Cyber War: Israeli Military Sites Under Mass Hack Attack

War is in cyberspace as much as it is in real space. Since mid-last week Israeli sites have been probed over 44 million times. Typically Israel is subject to a few hundred attempts per day.

In air conditioned bunkers filled with servers hackers chase each other back and forth through code and over social media.

The attached article reports that the Israeli Army has a presence in all sorts of social media, and Hamas is particularly effective in Twitter. Try using the hashtags #Hamas and #Gaza to see what is happening in real time. It’s pretty amazing. But I wouldn’t go any deeper than that.

Click here for the article.

The mobile revolution: how smartphones are putting Sudan at the center of the world

I have to admit that I had some wireless issues in Omaha on a recent trip. That the author of this article is doing what he is doing in northern Sudan is remarkable.

(From The Telegraph)

At a dozen other archaeological sites across the country, it was the same story. Admittedly, I was the only person making a fool of himself juggling a phone and a laptop while I was supposed to be looking at pyramids, but it was easy to see the effects of rapid technological progress everywhere, and not just for visitors.

Click here for the story.


China is an online tinderbox


With access to information on the web and an economic slowdown on the way, China may be in for some changes. The Party tries to contain the tempest that is brewing.

China recently summoned the heads of various internet companies to Beijing to “discuss” how to deal with unwanted speech online. The Chinese Communist Party knows that it has a virtual tinderbox on it’s hands. More and more information is making its way to the great unwashed and that challenges fundamentally the China the Party has created.

For the past 2 decades China has ridden a wave of economic and technological growth despite heavy handed regulation. In the wake of Tiananmen Square the Chinese people basically struck a deal. You give us economic growth and a higher standard of living and we will in turn allow you to remain in power with all the trappings.

But this contract may be on the verge of breaking down for any number of reasons but chief among them is the increasing access to information online. But perhaps almost as important as access to information is the economic slowdown China may very soon witness.

We have become so used to 10% increases in Chinese GDP that we almost take it as a given that it will continue forever. This won’t be the case. The dirty little secret in China right now is that the economy is slowing a good deal off of its recent pace.

Put new access to information and an economic retraction together and the current Chinese system quickly becomes unstable. The Chinese leadership wants to control the burn because they know that in one form or another a fire is coming. They want to avoid a wildfire.

It may be too late.

Click here for more on the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to control the Net.


The Revolution Is Being Tweeted?

 #OccupyWallStreet gives anyone who wants a voice at the protests a voice, no matter where they are physically.


As I wandered through the Occupy DC protests on Thursday I must admit that I did not agree with every sentiment I saw scribbled on a placard. However, I did rejoice in the fact that people were in the street making their voices heard.

And they are being heard.

Word of #OccupyWallStreet has gone out around the world, largely via social media, and many people have responded. Where a few weeks ago there were only a handful of protesters in New York, now there are thousands in almost every major city in the US. This would not have happened without social media.

I wrote earlier about the initial lack of coverage of the protests. The main stream media, a couple of weeks ago was paying no attention to the kids in the streets . Now they are falling all over themselves to cover the story. Again this would never have happened without social media.

#OccupyWallStreet, or #OccupyWallSt, or #OWS gives anyone who wants it a front row seat at the protests. One can adjust as needed to follow what is going on in one’s particular city.

For instance #OccupyAtlanta has some interesting tweets associated with it. It was by using this hash tag that I learned that the congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis had not been allowed to speak at the protests in Atlanta. The video can be seen here.


Hashtags also allow opposing viewpoints to weigh in.

Again a good example is #OccupyAtlanta. Just looking at the Twitter feed again there seems to be one contingent of pro-protest people who are shocked by the rejection of Lewis. There is another that is furious. There are some that are supportive of the rejection. Still others, who are anti-protest, are taking delight in the refusal.

The point is there is a pitched battle of ideas being waged online around these hash tags. If you want to see what is really going on in the streets, don’t look to CNN, or Fox, or MSNBC, use Twitter. Hashtags allow for a form of open source policy making. People riff off of one another and the complexion of the protests changes just a bit with each tweet. Sometimes, depending on who is doing the tweeting it can change a lot.

The stock market isn’t the only volatile market of consequence these days. The online “market of ideas” is more dynamic than it has ever been.


Gaming for Social Change: An In-depth Interview with Jane McGonigal


An interview with the author of bestselling author of Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World  

In the wake of hearing that gamers had solved a decade old riddle that had stumped the greatest minds in AIDS research I have started to think more seriously about how games might help us solve all sorts of problems.

Here is an interview in Forbes with a woman who is not only thinking about these issues, she’s creating games that may solve problems.

(From Forbes)

(Jane McGonigal) is making games powered by the science of positive emotion and social connection. The company’s first game, SuperBetter, is designed to increase resilience in the face of any illness or injury, or health and wellness goal. Players have used SuperBetter to overcome concussions, get through chemotherapy, reduce stress, lose weight, and quit smoking. Clinical trials for the game begin in September at Ohio State University Medical Research Center.

Click here for the interview.


The Establishment Strikes Back (at social media)

For every revolution there is an effort at a counter revolution. We see examples of authorities pushing back against the digital revolution nearly everywhere.


From liberal San Francisco, where authorities recently turned off cell phone service to BART (transit rail) stations in an effort to thwart the coordinated efforts of protestors, to Conservative UK Prime Minister Cameron calling for increased restrictions on social media in the wake of last week’s riots, the gate keepers are doing their best to keep the gates locked.

In places such as Egypt where the first rays of sunlight have begun to shine in, the military is flexing it’s muscles again. Blogger, Asmaa Mahfuz, a leader in the spring revolts was recently detained because of a perceived insult to the Army that was posted on her Twitter account. She has been released on bail but the message has been sent.

Around the world the powers that be are growing increasingly worried that their positions of power are under threat from a digitally empowered group of (mostly) young people. The old rules are falling by the wayside and the establishment is unhappy about it. The peasants it seems now have too much power.

What is even more annoying for the establishment is that the peasants seem to be better at leveraging information for their causes than the establishment is. Propaganda is to be handed down from on high, information is not supposed to percolate, it is to be blessed. Too much information is dangerous we are told.

It is- for them.

We will continue to see more and more push back from authorities in the days, weeks, months, and years to come. The Church despised the printing press. It should not surprise us that today’s power brokers hold a similar contempt for the digital revolution.

Social Media Plays Major Role in Motivating Malaysian Protesters

More than a week after Malaysian police fired teargas and water cannons at thousands of demonstrators seeking reform of the country’s electoral system, a Facebook petition calling on Prime Minister Najib Razak to quit has drawn over 200,000 backers, highlighting the role of social and new media in Malaysia’s restrictive free speech environment.


Click here for the story.