Technology and Iran
6/24/2009 - Mary Johnston
Iím starting to make peace with technology. Several writers have expressed frustration with it in the past for good reasons. In fact, last night I managed to push the wrong buttons on two T.V. remote controls, creating chaos on both screens, with no idea how to correct them. I was ready to send the remotes to my toddler nephew who has been known to walk around with one pressed to his ear, pretending that itís a cell phone. He thinks outside the box.
But Iíve come to appreciate the role that technology is playing in Iran. My gratitude was cemented when President Obama stated that cell phone cameras and e-mail have given the world access to the events in Iran. Even though the Iranian government has perfected the art of suppression, it is no match for the proliferation of technological devices. No longer are we dependent on news stories generated by a few journalists and news photographers. And though a regime may suppress rebellion, it can never suppress the suppression. The world will know.
This has far reaching implications for all political victims, including women who often experience a particularly brutal oppression. So for our sisters in Iran we must embrace technology because itís the vital means by which they tell their stories.
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||Suzanne Caplan from PA wrote:
Women are really safer in this techno world. We can carry a cell phone and alert someone to danger we might sense. We can record any abuse we may suffer. We can be tracked when lost. And for women in places like Iran, this is a lifeline. I wonder how the whole world will change.
||Dorothy Sander from Durham NC wrote:
Perhaps paid journalism will go by the wayside to be replaced by citizen journalism where it once began - a search for the truth.
||LeAnn Farley from Mt. Pleasant IA wrote:
Mary, I love your line, "though a regime may suppress rebellion, it can never suppress the suppression. The world will know." Even if they manage somehow to stop transmissions, the lack of communication will be communication. I have two other bits of info about technology in this crisis. First, I heard that Iran has begun to confiscate electronic devices from anyone found to have one--a low-tech solution to high technology. Second, I heard that US geeks are hacking into Iranian government computers to erase names of people to be arrested, etc. It's a new world.
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