We read this story from Businessweek and were taken aback that it could publish this. What is the motivation of exposing the obvious that most of the social media driven activism are sponsored by the US. We think this kid of activity should be covet and not trumpeted on the pages of a respected magazine.
Antigovernment protesters in Syria have a hard time reaching the outside world, since the government selectively blocks cell-phone coverage in protest areas, and most use a slow dial-up Internet connection. Some of them rely on a contact overseas. The Syrian, who has seen the inside of prisons before and asked that his name not be printed, receives video files from activists in Daraa. The Syrian helps format the videos and posts them to YouTube. He’s exactly the kind of person the State Dept. would like to help right now: a pro-reform dissident, enabling others to get their story out through the Internet.
According to Posner, State has already held training sessions for 5,000 digital activists around the world, including one in February in Beirut that brought together participants from Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria. The sessions, quietly run by local organizations, teach participants which websites and technologies are most vulnerable to government monitoring—and which government-seeded rumors about technology are false. Daniel B. Baer, the deputy assistant secretary in the democracy bureau, says that in one country,
The agency has already awarded about $22 million in Internet freedom grants and plans to raise the total to $50 million by the summer.
Very interesting! Where is this money in Africa and where do they advertise them? We have one question: can this strategy work in Cameroon and get Paul Biya out of power? Let the money come because Mr. Biya has spent his welcome!