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[liberationtech] NEW BOOK: Liberation Technology: Social Media and the Struggle for Democracy (A Journal of Democracy Book)

Yosem Companys companys at
Sun Jul 8 15:22:10 PDT 2012

Liberation Technology: Social Media and the Struggle for Democracy (A
Journal of Democracy Book)

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.

While such "liberation technology" has been instrumental in freeing
Egypt and Tunisia, 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 is then followed by
essays discussing the popular dichotomy of "liberation" versus
"control" with regard to the Internet and the sociopolitical
dimensions of such controls. Additional 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 alkasir—a tool that has been
used widely throughout the Middle East to circumvent cyber-censorship.

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, Elham Gheytanchi, Philip N. Howard, Muzammil M. Hussain,
Rebecca MacKinnon, Patrick Meier, Evgeny Morozov, Xiao Qiang, Rafal
Rohozinski, Mehdi Yahyanejad

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