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Zimbabwe Makes Arrest Over Facebook Comment 100

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the voluntary-registration dept.
inasity_rules writes "It seems using Facebook/Twitter to try overthrowing a corrupt government can backfire a bit, especially if they are expecting it. In Zimbabwe your Facebook posts can get you arrested. Probably for anything up to and including treason."
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Zimbabwe Makes Arrest Over Facebook Comment

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  • by bigsexyjoe (581721) on Friday March 04, 2011 @06:59PM (#35385076)
    In the Facebook age, dissidents have Prime Ministers arrested. I think this PM should be careful.
    • by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Friday March 04, 2011 @07:13PM (#35385214)

      In Zimbabwe the President has a private army of dissidents with whom he causes land and economic reforms.

      Should there be a protest movement, they will be fighting in the streets against ZANU-PF and the ZNLWVA

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZANU-PF [wikipedia.org]
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zimbabwe_National_Liberation_War_Veterans_Association [wikipedia.org]
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_reform_in_Zimbabwe [wikipedia.org]

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 04, 2011 @08:01PM (#35385578)

      In the Facebook age, dissidents have Prime Ministers arrested. I think this PM should be careful.

      The "facebook age" (seriously, no!) has also made it much easier for oppressive regimes to figure out what dissidents are up to, who they associate with, etc. I'm not terribly amazed that this is happening, nor would I be amazed if this becomes standard procedure for some countries.

      Aside from that, I think that it's all too easy to say that from a few facebook posts governments and dictators will fall. "Every civilization is three meals away from revolution" is perhaps more appropriate, but that doesn't mean the revolution is a success. Have a look at the current situation in Libya. That one is going to take a little while, and it's going to be very uncivilized compared to clicking "LIKE +1".

      Ever wonder why we don't have more revolutions? My country is currently going through an economic crisis, has no real government to speak of, and by this time next year I'm going to be about 6% poorer effectively than I am now (by estimation). So the question is, why aren't we revolting in the streets? Is it because we're civilized and polite? Or is it because we're entertained by mass media, well fed by our supermarkets, and we've still got a roof over our head and a relatively well maintained (false) sense of security. (Note that I am not advocating a revolution, merely pointing something out)

      It's nice that terrible regimes not prepared for the Internet now fall with the aid of it, but it's not "because of the Internet" that this is happening. It's because the people were fed up, and with or without the Internet they would've found a way to make it happen.

      • by TheLink (130905) on Friday March 04, 2011 @11:43PM (#35386564) Journal

        Yep, it's not Facebook despite the current habit of the media to link Facebook with everything (have they linked it with cancer yet? ;) ). Egypt has to import lots of wheat. Russia and India banned exports. Australia had a bad crop.

        So wheat shortage = expensive bread = lots of hungry unhappy people. But just hungry unhappy people doesn't mean revolution.

        Revolutions happens when the hungry unhappy people think the rulers are to blame for the problem, and then they become hungry very angry people. You can be starving and not blame the ruler/Government for the situation.

        http://theweek.com/article/index/212433/fighting-over-food [theweek.com]

      • by rtb61 (674572) on Saturday March 05, 2011 @12:39AM (#35386766) Homepage

        In the Facebook age, silly naive people will get caught. The more reliant the become on computers finding conspiracies for them, the more subject to misinformation and obfuscation.

        The reality is, you should only use open social networking when you are ready to go. Up until then more direct means of communication are safer.

        If your live in a troubled country use external sources and people to pass on your information to a broader audience. Now it is global activism, so people can act locally via globally sourced support.

        Revolutions occur because people no longer believe they are alone and without support.

        • by flyingsquid (813711) on Saturday March 05, 2011 @01:04AM (#35386842)
          This part of the article was particularly troubling, however: "Meanwhile there are signs that the Mugabe regime intends to increase its ability to spy on innocent civilians. As we reported on SW Radio Africa this week, the government is allegedly moving at a ‘very fast pace’ with the construction of a secret electronic eavesdropping complex just outside Harare. A trusted source said that the Chinese, who are building the complex, have a system that enables most security agencies to ‘spy at will’ on emails, website visits, social networking sessions, and telephone calls made over the internet on a massive scale."

          So we have the United States producing and exporting technology like Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter that increase connectivity and the free flow of information, and with it, political dissent. And the Chinese taking the lead in trying to monitor, control and censor the flow of political ideas, and if the article is to be believed, they're now exporting this technology.

    • In Soviet Facebook age...

      oh, nevermind

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday March 04, 2011 @07:04PM (#35385128)

    In Zimbabwe anything can get you arrested, heck nothing can too. Zimbabwe does not exactly have what we call the rule of law.

  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Friday March 04, 2011 @07:06PM (#35385142)

    etc, etc, etc... "that the government of the Facebook, by the Facebook, for the Facebook, shall not perish from the earth."

  • by edjs (1043612) on Friday March 04, 2011 @07:06PM (#35385148)
    What, they still need an excuse to arrest you in Zimbabwe?
  • by unity100 (970058) on Friday March 04, 2011 @07:09PM (#35385172) Homepage Journal
    Ini mini wu wu ... wu wu ... wuwuzange .... imaani lenzende ...

    i learned it from discovery channel. long ago. some random guy in africa was repeating it over and over in the jingles. i also started to say it while in the kitchen, in the loo, doing random things.
  • by RightSaidFred99 (874576) on Friday March 04, 2011 @07:09PM (#35385174)
    Go make some crazy-ass threats to some public figure on your facebook and see what happens. Facebook posts are no different than any other forum for speech - if you post shit that's illegal in your country, they can arrest you.
    • by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Friday March 04, 2011 @07:14PM (#35385216) Journal

      Do you believe that not enough speech is illegal in your country?

    • by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Friday March 04, 2011 @07:17PM (#35385238)

      If I post "Obama should be over thrown, lets have a protest over X Saturday", the Secret Service won't come, they won't arrest me.

      If I live in Zimbabwe and post "Overthrow ZANU-PF, lets have a protest Saturday!" I'll be arrested or killed.

      • by RightSaidFred99 (874576) on Friday March 04, 2011 @07:25PM (#35385298)
        Right. If you post "let's go kill so and so, we'll do it by such and such on such and such a date!" someone will come find you. As I said, saying something illegal (in your country) will get you into trouble. I guess I'm saying "yeah, and...?".
        • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Friday March 04, 2011 @08:34PM (#35385766) Journal

          Oppression codified as law does not stop being oppressive. Dissidents in Soviet Union were also imprisoned and otherwise suppressed by the letter of the law; but it was still evil. So is this.

          • by RightSaidFred99 (874576) on Friday March 04, 2011 @10:16PM (#35386298)

            Absolutely it is. But again, what does facebook have to do with it?

            Patent: Oppressing your citizens. Oops, that's taken.

            Patent: Oppressing your citzens...using the Internet!

          • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 05, 2011 @12:56AM (#35386820)

            If I went out and murdered some people and got arrested, I could yell out that I was being oppressed. There is a wide gray line here. It is the "job of the judges" and a party of "peers" to determine if an action is an infraction. Yelling, "BOMB!" in a crowded area like the classic example of a movie theater or a ferry or bus should be taken seriously. If someone can not control themselves in such a time or place they fail at taking personal responsibility, or they don't mind any consequences of their actions.

            By saying that, "Me and my 2 friends are going out to a public park at $SomeDay $SomeTime with our sniper rifles to pick off some visitors." That could easily be misunderstood. It may raise a flag, but unless something happens there, no one will find it and proactively enforce a law that hasn't been broken yet. As an example many orphans that get adopted into "families" of known child abusers again and again. -- Is a much larger problem than idle threats, but the government still does not work to clean up such systems.

          • by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Saturday March 05, 2011 @01:35AM (#35386974) Journal

            According to Richard Posner [slate.com]

            "The rule of law means that judges decide cases 'without respect of persons,' that is, without considering the social status, attractiveness, etc. of the parties or their lawyers."

            In some states, the laws are so many and, and so contradictory, and so onerous that "every citizen is guilty of something." Dissidents are selected for prosecution, and convicted according the law. But because the arrest and indictment are contingent upon the social and political status of the accused, the process does not fit within Posner's conception.

            Of course, others define "rule of law" more loosely and elide over concepts of justice and fairness. These people are shallow.

            • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday March 05, 2011 @01:57AM (#35387048) Journal

              In some states, the laws are so many and, and so contradictory, and so onerous that "every citizen is guilty of something." Dissidents are selected for prosecution, and convicted according the law. But because the arrest and indictment are contingent upon the social and political status of the accused, the process does not fit within Posner's conception.

              This is a valid point when dissidents are convicted or otherwise oppressed according to law that does not directly relate to their activity as dissidents. E.g. in late USSR, they would often be charged with economic crimes, and where that was unfeasible, simply declared insane ("Surely we live in the best country in the world, as everyone knows; and yet this man says this is not true - who but insane would say so?"). That, indeed, is not rule of law.

              On the other hand, there are situations where dissidents are persecuted under law which explicitly makes the actions that make them dissidents - their participation in political process not in approved way - a crime. For example, the infamous Soviet article 58 [wikipedia.org], which made "anti-Soviet propaganda and agitation" illegal - that is a law that clearly and explicitly targets public political dissent. When such law is consistently applied - as it largely was in the USSR - you still do have rule of law. A modern example of the same is North Korea, and - to a lesser extent - the various "lèse majesté" laws.

              From TFA, it seems that Zimbabwe also has a law along these lines, only deliberately more vague, and that's what they used in this case.

      • by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Friday March 04, 2011 @07:25PM (#35385304) Journal

        But that's his point.

        The Obama comment is okay, because it is not illegal. The Zimbabwe comment is out of bounds, because it is illegal. Respect the rule of law, and if you don't like the rules, work within the existing legal structure to change them.

      • by Locke2005 (849178) on Friday March 04, 2011 @07:38PM (#35385414)
        No, you have the same right to say "Obama sucks!" in Zimbabwe as you do in the US!
      • by buchner.johannes (1139593) on Saturday March 05, 2011 @01:10AM (#35386858) Homepage Journal

        No but if you post like a few secret documents, or are in the wrong place at the wrong time you get flown to a foreign country, stuck into a hole of a cell, get tortured, with virtually no contact to the outside world, you barely get a lawyer if you are US-citizen. And you get charged for treason with the perspective of death penalty, or you don't get a charged with anything if you are not an US-citizen.*
        There is definitely something wrong in the US too (namely the right to a fair trial), and saying it's not as bad as Zimbabwe doesn't make it better.

        * see Taxi to the Dark Side [imdb.com]

    • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Friday March 04, 2011 @08:32PM (#35385752) Journal

      He didn't make "crazy ass threats", though. He basically told "dictators should remember what happened in Egypt and Tunisia" to a government official. It seems that, in recognizing that comment is somehow threatening to them, the government has implicitly recognized that it is dictatorial.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 04, 2011 @10:42PM (#35386368)

        He didn't make "crazy ass threats", though. He basically told "dictators should remember what happened in Egypt and Tunisia" to a government official. It seems that, in recognizing that comment is somehow threatening to them, the government has implicitly recognized that it is dictatorial.

        Dummiessaywhat.

    • by Unkyjar (1148699) on Friday March 04, 2011 @08:44PM (#35385804)

      âoeI am overwhelmed, I donâ(TM)t want to say Mr. or PM what happened in Egypt is sending shockwaves to dictators around the world. No weapon but unity of purpose worth emulating, hey.â ....yeah, he used some really "crazy-ass threats".

      • by RightSaidFred99 (874576) on Friday March 04, 2011 @10:19PM (#35386308)
        That wasn't my point. My point was more of a "so what?". Zimbabwe is a shithole, who didn't know that. If you post anything the government doesn't like, be it on facebook, in spraypaint on your house, or just talking to 50 of your best buddies the government will come after you. Facebook is a form of speech, and speech has consequences, even righteous or sometimes even inoffensive seeming speech. If your government doesn't like your speech (threats in the US, hate speech in Europe, ...anything anti-government in much of the world) they could take action.
  • by flaming error (1041742) on Friday March 04, 2011 @07:10PM (#35385192) Journal

    I think that publicly trying to overthrow your government might have consequences, whatever the forum.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 04, 2011 @07:18PM (#35385244)

    Zimbabwe government 'Liked This!'

  • by BitterOak (537666) on Friday March 04, 2011 @07:24PM (#35385296)

    I'm pretty sure you can be arrested in America as well for posting illegal things on your Facebook page. Try posting a threat to the President of the United States on your Facebook page and you'll probably get arrested in the USA.

    There's nothing sacred about Facebook. Even high school students have gotten into trouble for Facebook postings about school staff.

    • Aside from threatening to harm people, you can actually say a lot in the US that you can't in other countries. Heck, John Galliano wouldn't have been charged with a thing for all the crazy pro nazi and anti semetic things he said but he had to say them in France where it's illegal. Heck most Libertarians say worst things about taking down the government and rioting then what this Zimbabwe guy did.
    • by bmo (77928) on Friday March 04, 2011 @08:05PM (#35385602)

      We're full of false equivalence here today, aren't we?

      There was no direct threat to Mugabe. There was a mention of an "egypt" happening to Zimbabwe. If you posted the exact same thing on your facebook in the US and just substituted, you'd not raise a single eyebrow.

      Free Republic is full of people like this. When is the last time a freeper was arrested for what he said?

      Never. Because political speech is the most protected speech in the US.

      Posting a valid, direct, threat to assassinate Obama *will* get you arrested, but that's not political speech. That's conspiracy to commit murder.

      >comparing high school hijinks to political speech

      Trollercoaster.jpg.

      --
      BMO

  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Friday March 04, 2011 @07:36PM (#35385394)
    Isn't there any way of defacing the PM's facebook page anonymously?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 04, 2011 @07:43PM (#35385446)

    in communist china we facebook you!

  • by decora (1710862) on Friday March 04, 2011 @07:44PM (#35385458) Journal

    to throw off tyranny and start a new, better society.

    he wound up creating just about the poorest country on the planet, causing millions to migrate so that they could find food to eat, while his political opponents are brutally oppressed.

    remember that while you are chanting 'free libya'

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 04, 2011 @08:41PM (#35385790)

    if the govenment wants you arrested they don't actually need a reason.

  • Where are the fools who always pop up under a story like this to explain to us, with great indignation, why it is no better in the West, that the West does the same thing? Whenever China, Iran, North Korea, Egypt, Zimbabwe, etc., does anything vile with human rights, I need the solace of my false equivalency fools who are always there to tell me why in the West it is exactly the same, and no better.

    Of course, these brave false equivalency fools are always so critical of the West... from within the West. What I want to see is their "bravery" and lazy iconoclasm, from within another country. Let's see how brave they are to post criticism of China, from within China, to post criticism of Iran, from within Iran, of Zimbabwe, from within Zimbabwe.

    Any takers?

    (crickets)

    Don't seem so brave and counterculture now, do they? And maybe that means more about the true relationship between your rights and freedoms in the West versus those in countries that genuinely grant you no rights to expression or other simple aspects of human dignity, whatsoever.

    The West does plenty wrong, and the West can improve, of course. But if you understand how good you have it RELATIVELY SPEAKING (never mind that we can do better), only then you can begin to say something intelligent about the world you live in. But if you think you are saying something intelligent by equating human rights in the West versus Zimbabwe, or China, or Iran, you're just announcing how sheltered and ignorant you are.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 04, 2011 @09:50PM (#35386160)

      Where are the fools who always pop up under a story like this to explain to us, with great indignation, why it is no better in the West, that the West does the same thing? Whenever China, Iran, North Korea, Egypt, Zimbabwe, etc., does anything vile with human rights, I need the solace of my false equivalency fools who are always there to tell me why in the West it is exactly the same, and no better.

      Just do what you always do: wait until another poster says something that isn't actually anything like what you describe, but could possibly be mistaken for it if you only read every third word, while drunk and squinting through one eye at a monitor on the other side of the room. Then lie and act as if they had said that every single person in the US is literally Hitler.

      It always ends with you spluttering and trying (without success) to cover your humiliation with feigned amusement, but you just keep coming back to the same pattern.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 04, 2011 @10:48PM (#35386380)
      In your head, as usual. Nobody says the situation in the west is, on a whole, as bad as the situation in other parts of the world. However, there are very specific instances where the situation is comparable to the situation over there. For instance, what seems to be corporate ownership of many parts of the government through lobbying.

      We have our own problems we need to deal with, like you said. Some of these are just similar to the ones in other parts of the world, both in form and severity. Our standard of living may be better and we may have some freedoms that haven't been completely kicked under the curb yet, but that's no reason to sit back and take it. It'll get worse unless we do something about it.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 04, 2011 @11:42PM (#35386556)

      Oh, totally, dude. High five for Guantanamo! They're not Westerners anyway amirite?

      What we have is a false sense of security. Oh, the police would never shoot you if you were unarmed and were providing no resistance, right? And the goverment would never try to control what information gets to you and how it is presented? And politicans are politically responsible and I'm a fairy. You have the right to midly bitch and complain. Not too loud. Not too public. But sure, it's better than China. You don't have to keep silent if you get the urge to mildly bitch. And if you're up for some self-glorification, the maximum post length is the limit.

      • The West has done many abuses, and has many problems. But if you honestly think the abuses of the West compares to the status of human rights in Zimbabwe, or China, or Iran... you're not naive, you're not sheltered, you're not clueless. You're low IQ. I mean you genuinely lack certain mental abilities of compare and contrast that can only indicate that you're just not a very intelligent person. I'm not blindly insulting you. I'm making a fair, objective appraisal of your cognitive abilities based on your demonstrated attempts to make qualitative comparisons. I'm being completely sincere: you're just not a bright person.

    • by Bob9113 (14996) on Saturday March 05, 2011 @12:49AM (#35386794) Homepage

      > The West does plenty wrong, and the West can improve, of course. But if you understand how good you have it RELATIVELY SPEAKING

      Screw relatively speaking. What kind of American wants to be a little better than China or any other nation? I'm a pretty hard-core patriot. I want to be better than everyone. I want to be better today than we were yesterday, and better tomorrow than we are today. I've seriously considered the alternatives, and I wouldn't want to live anywhere else on the planet -- and I still want us to do better.

      I think we're the best as a result of all the time we have spent striving to be the best. America Right or Wrong! When wrong to be put right, when right to be kept right.

      What kind of defeatist propaganda are you trying to spread by telling people not to reflect on our opportunities for improvement? The most important thing we can all do as patriots is constantly ask ourselves how we can be better. Even though we are the best, I want to be more best. I want to be ten times as good as the next best, not twice as good. Did Johnny Bench play it soft in the All Star game? No. Why? Because he wanted to win.

      And here's your false equivalency for you (though I won't call it equivalency, because it is not, we are much better than Zimbabwe):

      A guy exposed a bunch of documents that led or is leading to the downfall of five different brutal dictatorships, to be replaced with democracy. Something the entire Neo-Con army has just barely sort of managed to do in one (Iraq). He is being held in military prison, and (apparently against the advise of military psychologists) being held in the harsh (absolutely, not relatively, Zimbabwe is worse) conditions of self-harm prevention. Despite his lawyer saying he is at no risk. A very reasonable hypothesis is that they are trying to get him to break and testify that Julian Assange assisted him, so they can go after Assange on espionage charges.

      So -- Zimbabwe is worse. But when our own people do what they genuinely believe is best for Our Nation, and the results are *exactly* what the Neo-Cons claim they are after (spreading democracy in place of dictatorships), we treat him better than Zimbabwe treats their dissidents. That's not a high bar to get over. We can do a helluva lot better.

      I want us to be better than that. I want us to be able to say, "We don't like this stuff being exposed, and we will do everything in our power to increase security. And Pfc Manning is a patriot who was doing his duty to his nation to the best of his ability, despite the fact that we strenuously disagree with his approach. The reason we don't have to make some kind of example of him is this: Look at the evidence that was revealed -- we *are* better than everyone else, and now those brutal dictators are getting exactly what they deserve. Sometimes the truth comes out, and hinders our diplomatic agenda in the short run. And we will do everything we can to prevent such events in the future. However, when it does happen, like this time, the truth will show that we are not just better than the despots -- but that we are the best -- even while we handle far more than our share of the world's problems. Because we are that good."

      • hold on a sec, let me get "battle hymn of the republic" playing and i'll read again...

        (smirk)

        in all seriousness, no battle to improve the usa will be made by anyone who doesn't even understand our problems. which is aptly demonstrated when someone thinks our problems are the same as china, zimbabe, iran, etc. THAT'S MY POINT

        feel me now?

        do you think anyone who thinks our condition is the same as china iran or zimbabwe is any sort of aid to your noble cause? no: there is no aid for the virtuous fight you cite from morons who thinks what harare does is the same as what washington dc does. it's a simple demonstration they are fucking idiots. do you fight a noble cause with idiots?

        in case you missed it: idiot = someone who thinks the west has the same human rights condition as china, iran, or zimbabwe. do you get my fucking point? MY POST IS A PLEA FOR INTELLIGENCE. and you respond to my post as if it were an attack on heart

        jesus fucking christ. i'm glad you got heart kid. now: do you having a FUCKING brain? try marrying that great noble beating heart with some brains, and get off your fucking high horse and get a fucking clue before you go off with your fucking battle hymn of republic post next time, when it doesn't even fucking apply

        i'm not questioning your heart, your heart is obviously in the right place

        i am questioning your brains

        you need both

        jesus fucking christ... throw in a fucking cowardly lion and we can have a fucking wizard of oz

        • by Bob9113 (14996) on Saturday March 05, 2011 @12:14PM (#35389234) Homepage

          > hold on a sec, let me get "battle hymn of the republic" playing and i'll read again...

          > (smirk)

          Yeah -- truth is I do see your point. Though I felt that the counterpoint was over-the-top passion for nation (which is actually what I feel too -- though I rarely express it so viscerally).

          I think my post would have been better if, instead of the "defeatist propaganda" line, I had said something like "I agree that many make false equivalencies, and that those things are as damaging to the vital self-reflection process as blind jingoism -- however..."

          In all honesty, once I got rolling, I got my own muster up. :)

      • by elsurexiste (1758620) on Monday March 07, 2011 @02:50AM (#35403214) Journal
        You forgot your smiley. If you still don't understand, check out my sig.
    • by thaig (415462) on Saturday March 05, 2011 @08:16AM (#35388228) Homepage

      If I could mod you up I would. This is insightful. I suppose I think it's insightful because I have also noticed it often and it is frustrating.

      The battle is about elites vs the rest. Countries that have a small middle class have a kind of power vacuum in which the elite dominates a powerless landless group. They have 100 excuses from "culture" to socialism but it is none of that - it's straightforward, medieval kings and barons and peasants and it's universal to humankind.

      The developed world's best way of helping is anything that helps a middle class to grow because even though it is impossible not to have an elite, the middle class are the ones who have the knowledge, collective power, self-organising ability and money to keep the elite in check. They can create new members of the elite and tear down existing ones who overstep the mark.

    • by leromarinvit (1462031) on Saturday March 05, 2011 @01:37PM (#35389814)

      Where are the fools who always pop up under a story like this to explain to us, with great indignation, why it is no better in the West, that the West does the same thing? Whenever China, Iran, North Korea, Egypt, Zimbabwe, etc., does anything vile with human rights, I need the solace of my false equivalency fools who are always there to tell me why in the West it is exactly the same, and no better.

      It's not only the absolute amount of freedom that's important, you also have to consider the time derivative. While I obviously appreciate the relatively large amount of freedom we currently enjoy, the way "the west" generally seems to be headed now, I'm not sure it will still be a place I want to live in in 10 or 20 years.

    • by blendergasket (806364) on Saturday March 05, 2011 @01:41PM (#35389844)
      Or, you know, we could just sit around on our laurels and watch silently as the government takes a few more, and then a few more of our rights away. The USA isn't Zimbabwe because of a the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, which is constantly under assault and has been under massive assault under Bush and now, sadly, Obama. Drawing equivalencies between regimes that are generally understood to be repressive and our own regimes when they act in a sinister and repressive manner against the citizens who they are sworn to protect and serve an who's rights they're supposed to be protecting and upholding is valid. Is it wrong to point out that my government is doing similar things as are done by repressive regimes and beginning to look more like those regimes? I think it's right and necessary. Oh, and by the way. Free Bradley Manning: http://www.bradleymanning.org/ [bradleymanning.org]
  • by metacell (523607) on Friday March 04, 2011 @09:53PM (#35386174)

    I'm sure glad things like that don't happen here in the West!

  • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Saturday March 05, 2011 @12:11AM (#35386698) Journal

    Social networking and blogging tools and sites were strong contributors to the organizatin of the Tunisan and Egyptian revolutions - to the point that the Egyptian revolution might be characterized as a revolution run by "flash mob" events. With these tools conspiracies could grow so fast they stayed far ahead of the governments' efforts to identify, infiltrate, and shut them down.

    But the FACT of the revolutions' success has created a "Schelling Point" (AKA "focus point") - a game theoretical situation when the participants, with no direct communication, know that "The time is now and everybody else knows it too.".

    Once you have a Schelling Point, communication is not so necessary. So prosecuting Facebook posters will be too little, too late. So will shutting off Internet access and phone service in your country.

    Eventually governments may be able to develop new methods to head off and suppress popular uprisings. But for now it's the people who have the upper hand.

    To the dictators of the world I say: Welcome to "The Singularity". B-) )

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 05, 2011 @02:25AM (#35387130)

    he knows about it

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 05, 2011 @08:53AM (#35388312)

    If, for example, you were to speak in less than glowing terms about JEWS (even using the word "Jew" is apparently a 'crime' nowadays, just search for "Jew" on Google and read their sickening 'apology' about the results that might come up if you don't use the magic word "Jewish"...) you would definitely be sacked from your job, and most likely sent to prison.

    So now do you know who runs your country, against the will of the people? The eternal Jew.

    Try it - at your next 'diversity awareness' course at your place of work, stand up and say "Jew", and watch people's reactions- you would probably be sacked on the spot.

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