Saturday, July 16, 2005

Recurring Theme: Cell Phones Are Good for People

Now that cell phones and SMS might save Africa, save your life, take down Estrada and cost a fortune (thanks, Peter), I'm finding a theme:

There's a lot of power in that little pocket machine.

In the OpenNet Initiative's study on China's Internet filtering, we learn once again of China's overall scary censorship of the Internet. [Of course, the class blogged a lot on China's friendly government-registration policy for websites earlier this semester, so I won't pile on the hate.] The little detail that the government forgot to take a stab at: the cell phone and SMS.

When SARS broke out worse than new lines of Coke products, the ONI report says that the government tried to quell the panic by simply lying to its people: "Oh, that's not an epidemic...that's the weather changing!" Well, you know the saying: 1 billion can't be (collectively) stupid. SMS technology spread the truth and preserved a tiny bit of freedom for the Chinese people.

The (Chinese) Man might win most of those battles over freedom, but I -- for once -- am heartened by the hope that perhaps technology won't allow technology to stifle technology (and humanity).

Let's keep our figners crossed.


DesiPolitico said...

Let's hope that technology won't be used to opress the people as the Chinese government is trying to implement. Let's hope that somehow freedom will come through.

BlueGirl said...

I echo desipolitco's sentiments that the government will not continue to use technology to oppress technology.