On PBS yesterday evening, the Secretary of State claimed a neutral position between the protesters and Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian President. Prior to now, Ms. Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, has been somewhat marginalized in Obama’s administration, but she’s in the spotlight for this one. She stated that the U.S. would like to see moderation on both sides.
Demographics of the protesters show that the people involved in the protest are in a higher income range, with technological savvy. Privy to this information, Hillary Clinton recommended that people continue using Twitter and Facebook to voice their issues.
Just last week, Obama spoke with Mr. Mubarak, but the talk apparently did not reveal anything about the unrest, or whether it was discussed. President Obama placed the issue in Hillary Clinton’s hands, as an eruption resulted in at least three people dead.
Protest spilling over to Internet activities, was blocked by oppressive governments on Facebook, and Twitter prior to the outbreak of riots in Egypt and Tunisia.
Removing the potential for governments to block access to social networking sites brings a concern for the ability to provide privacy, and protect children.
So far, Google, Microsoft Corp., and Yahoo! Inc. are the only companies to join the Global Network Initiative resisting oppressive government demands to provide user information.
Thirty million American dollars set for technology to circumvent firewalls erected by authoritarian regimes has been slow to move in the direction stipulated.
Last year, U.S. companies were allowed to distribute free software for individual Internet users employing “Haystack,” a tool for protecting anonymity. In turn “Haystack” would hopefully help evade censorship. It was quickly hacked, resulting in compromised integrity.
The younger, technologically hip generation has a great ability to multi-task. Though often viewed critically, these kids may end up being heroes of democracy.
A recent investigation into the new ways that youthful brains work, show that early use of technology has actually created different distribution of electrical patterns. These may end up being helpful with issues of cyber democracy.
Where previous generation brain scans revealed a more focused pattern, it’s believed that the kids using games and spending more time on the web results in a shorter concentration span. The scans show a spotty distribution of brain wave activity.
Doomsayers lament the low reading scores, and the lack of interest in this area as demise for a culturally significant education and mindset. However, the expertise of the lesser focused kids may come in handy.
If auto programming software for defense measures isn’t working, will we need the Starwar adepts to implement spontaneous feedback to foreign government censures on the Internet?
With the differently distributed brain activity, thinking is quicker though less concentrated. Multitasking distributes brainwaves more evenly, but these are patchy. Narrowing concentration to one task is diminished, yet in light of the seeds of change, multitasking may intertwine with survival and the ideal of democracy in the cyber world.