UPDATE, 4/20, 8:13a: A couple take-aways from yesterday’s conference.
~ Oppressive governments don’t necessarily block access to the web to surmount digital insurgents. Sometimes they create a number of their own opposition blogs or t.v. programs/channels, etc., to try to overwhelm opposition chatter. This was a tactic I recognized from the Obama campaign, which was rumored to have hired 400 bloggers to propagandize.
~ The same tool for good can be used for bad. Example: A government (I forget which) realized protesters were using text messaging to gather, so it sent texts falsely stating snipers had been spotted on rooftops, which kept a particular protest from mounting.
4/19, 9:57a: Coincidentally, I’m in Dallas on the day the George W. Bush Institute is sponsoring a conference on cyber dissidents, people who risk their lives around the world to expose oppressive regimes and attempt to spread freedom via cyberspace. (More than blogging and use of social media on the Internet, this includes text messaging by mobile phones, smuggled USB devices, and other emerging digital media.)
President and Mrs. Bush just welcomed this diverse, brave group….

Mrs Bush Cyber Dissidents conference.jpg PResident Bush Cyber Dissidents conference.jpg

To accentuate the dire straits of some bloggers, the first speaker, Yoani Sanchez of the Generation Y blog, was thwarted by the Cuban government from addressing the audience by telephone.
Mrs. Bush noted that many of these cyber freedom fighters are women, particularly endangered in countries where women are oppressed.
These heroes are so inspiring to me. We pro-life bloggers in the U.S. are by no means oppressed by comparison. But we know we are on a domestic terrorist watch list. I am aware that Obama’s Department of Justice, among other government agencies, is monitoring my blog.

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