Via the Foreign Policy Institute…The Revolution Will be Brought to You by Text Messaging…I couldn’t agree more.
Today, cell phone providers in Kenya estimate that 10 million Kenyans either own their own cell phone or have easy access to one. This is in a country of about 31 to 34 million people. Kenyans like to talk, a lot. These are modern cell phones with state-of-the-art text messaging, Bluetooth, internet and video capability. There are services available to the average Kenyan that have not yet made there way into some regions of the United States. Access to the phones and airtime can be anonymous, and as with most things in Africa, where paperwork intrudes, money will make anything work.
And what’s the result:
The first common aspect is that the political opposition is almost uniformly better at exploiting the advantages of the technological developments than the governments in power…
The second common theme to telecommunication advances is that the government is also as fully entwined in the wireless and internet infrastructure as the political opposition…
The third common thread is the exponential expansion of the problem of monitoring communications when wireless and internet systems are introduced. Rather than thousands of individuals who were well documented by their landline telephone accounts, an authoritarian government is now looking at millions of individuals with no fixed location or identifiable characteristics.
Turns out even in the free world, Twitter is being used by anti-war activist to elude the watchful eyes of authorities.