Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

#WeAreHere: "Ghost" Soldiers of the Somme

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Liberia UNMIL mission: UN to hand security control to government

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Chaos and confusion after Brexit, Istanbul Airport attack (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Bitter Divorce: Chaos and confusion after Brexit (part 1)

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Extinction crisis: Saving the planet's species from an irreversible fate

Read more

#THE 51%

Unlocking the code: Women refugees offered classes in coding

Read more

#TECH 24

Viva Technology!

Read more

ENCORE!

Marcia Gay Harden, a down-to-earth Hollywood star

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

France’s Camargue region and its herdsmen

Read more

We explore the digital revolution and check out the latest technological trends. Every Saturday at 2.15 pm Paris time. And you can watch it online as early as Friday.

#TECH 24

#TECH 24

Latest update : 2011-02-28

TECH 24: The Internet, the Libyan uprising, hip-hop, and the Arab world

In this edition of TECH 24, hosts Rebecca Bowring and Eric Olander explore the role the internet is playing in the Libyan uprising. Also, every revolution has a soundtrack and this one is set to a hip-hop beat. Finally, the verdict on the movie industry's latest digital efforts to get you to actually pay for their content.

In sharp contrast to the internet-fueled uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, the current turmoil in Libya is considerably more 'analog.'  Even before anti-government rebels took to the streets to rally against President Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan government imposed far stricter control over its communications networks than in its North African neighbours. Access to Arab-language satellite channels is regularly jammed.

The country is far less communications savvy than others struck by this latest wind of defiance. Internet penetration is much lower than its neighbours and control of the country's major telecom operators was in the firm grip of the president's eldest son, Muhammed Gaddafi.  

Furthermore, when the anti-government demonstrations first began in eastern Libya, there were no foreign correspondents from any international media reporting from inside the country. However, in both Egypt and Tunisia, networks like FRANCE 24, Al Jazeera and others were on the ground in both countries.

The Dictator's Dilemma

The Libyan leader, like his counterparts across North Africa, has been confronted with a phenomenon known as the "Dictator's Dilemma." Twice so far, Tripoli followed Egypt's precedent and shut down access to the internet and phone communcations.

However, it did not take long before the networks were back up again, suggesting that there may be more at play here than just the leadership's wish to appease public opinion. 

Instead, a growing number of academics believe that autocratic families like those of Gaddafi, Ben Ali and Mubarak, have much of their personal fortunes tied up in companies that depend on the same information networks that are being used to subvert their authority.

Their dilemma: keep the networks on to preserve their financial interests while at the same time risk having those same digital technologies used to help overthrow their regimes.

Scholar Evgeny Morozov explains the "Dictator's Dilema"

The Soundtrack of a Revolution

With over 50 percent of the population across North Africa under the age of 30, this demographic bulge is far more comfortable assimilating digital technology into their daily lives than that of their parents' generation.

It is not just the text, images and videos that have been the staples of the 24-hour news coverage of the past few weeks. Music, specifically hip-hop, is also serving as a vital communications channel among the under-30s that have, to a large extent, gone unnoticed by much of the international news media.

The anger, frustrations and passions that have fueled the rage on the streets are all central themes of Arabic-language rap and hip-hop. Just as emails and text messages are exchanged across the network, so are the music files that have become the soundtrack of these recent uprisings.

Arabic language hip-hop artist Ibn Thabit

 

 

 

 

 

By Eric Olander

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2016-07-01 technology

Viva Technology!

This week we take you to Viva Technology, a tech event aimed at bringing together the world's major players in digital transformation. Its organisers say the goal is to help...

Read more

2016-06-24 technology

The 'fintech' revolution

As the Moneyconf 2016 comes to an end, we look closely at how financial technology, or so-called "fintech", is disrupting the banking sector. Plus, we test Withings' new scale:...

Read more

2016-06-17 technology

Creating a metaverse

How far are we from creating a metaverse, that is, a collective virtual shared space in which we would all interact as avatars? The term was coined in Neal Stephenson's 1992...

Read more

2016-06-10 technology

Testing the 'tech waters’

As the Euro 2016 kicks off here in France, we look at how technology has changed every aspect of football and how it is continuing its relentless march into the heart of all...

Read more

2016-06-03 technology

Facebook Live - From space!

In this edition, we tell you about the 20-minute Q&A conducted by Mark Zuckerberg from earth to space. Also, we tell you how technology is tackling the problem of waterborne...

Read more