Technology is catching up to the promise

February 22, 2011 — 1 Comment

After speaking to Gautham about it, and then reading his post on the Libyan protests, it occurred to me that video technology is really catching up to the promises of citizen journalism.

The disturbing footage of protesters walking into gunfire is unlike anything I have ever seen. As was the footage of the US military helicopter crew shooting and killing people. Even here in the United States, we had footage of Oscar Grant being killed, taking with mobile devices. These kinds of video show the reality of the situation, much more so than, “30 killed and countless wounded”.

More so than the supposed importance of social networks in coordinating protests (in countries where the primary problems are economic issues that are prohibitive to have access to said networks in the first place), the images and feeds we get from people on the ground are really breaking through the sanitized media filter we are used to.

It gives me hope, because so often technology looks like it is just going to be used to track and target us, but when cameras can be made small and cheap, tyranny can’t catch people off guard for long. As a person living the a “first world” country, it is my responsibility to ensure that technology continues to free people. On that note, check out the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Edit: Mike reminded me of Serval, which makes me happy on many levels. Imagine an international org passing out plug server routers that enable mesh communication networks. Oh, and check out Freedom Box.

One response to Technology is catching up to the promise

  1. There are so many things wrong with mass production, but you’re absolutely right – this is one case where cheap, accessible technology makes us more free. Although there is pressure from the police in the US and the UK to make filming the police in a public setting harder or illegal –

    http://gizmodo.com/#!5553765/are-cameras-the-new-guns

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/08/26

    http://tucsoncitizen.com/mark-evans/archives/304

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