The unholy alliance of web democratization and censorship


It was amazing to watch the coverage of the demonstrations and violence in Iran following the disputed elections. If it wasn?t for Twitter and the Internet, we never would have seen what was happening. The government effectively stopped the reporting of the major international news organizations. They had to rely on Twitter and Youtube feeds from actual demonstrators.

It is evident that the digital revolution is making it difficult for despotic regimes to control what their citizens say and read. It is interesting that Iran tried to limit or slow down the internet during those riots, but they soon discovered that they needed the internet as well for the government to function.

Ironically, this same medium of freedom has been used in China to crack down on people. Yahoo gave the Chinese government access to a private citizens email account. The citizen was later arrested. Yahoo and Google are faced with either giving in to Chinese censorship and spying demands or walking away from the largest and fastest growing internet market in the world.

With the digital revolution lead to more freedom or more censorship? Only time will tell.

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