Don't miss




Reactions to shock images of shirtless Air France executives

Read more


Ghana’s leader talks democracy, corruption

Read more


Air France Fury (part1)

Read more


Air France Fury (part 2)

Read more


Sweden's defence minister: 'We are going to increase our defence budget'

Read more


Synod on the family highlights divisions within Catholic Church

Read more


Britain and the EU: Should it stay or should it go?

Read more


From 'melting' dresses to human 'backpacks', the best of Paris Fashion Week!

Read more


Video: Farmers living in fear in South Africa

Read more

We explore the digital revolution and check out the latest technological trends. Every Saturday at 2.15 pm Paris time.

#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



2015-10-02 education

Taking a closer look at technology in the classroom

This week on Tech 24, we discuss IT in education, as UNESCO celebrates World Teacher's Day and France pledges to boost the presence of technology in the classroom. Our report...

Read more

2015-09-25 auto industry

The advantages and pitfalls of connected cars

Volkswagon stunned the world with its special software to detect testing - and provide lower emissions results on its diesel cars. But it's not the only manufacturer making...

Read more

2015-09-18 Social Media

The dangers of addiction to social media

Depressed? Anxious? Insomniac? Social media may be to blame. This week's Tech 24 warns against the dangers - both mental and physical - of being constantly connected. In the test...

Read more

2015-09-11 Israel

Start-up Nation: Israel leads in tech innovation

It's dubbed the Start-up Nation. Israel is the world's biggest investor in R&D, and its tech sector is flourishing. We report on the development from Tel Aviv. Then, we move to...

Read more

2015-09-04 Ivory Coast

The latest in fitness trackers and TaxiJet’s arrival in Abidjan

TaxiJet makes its debut on the streets of Abidjan. It's West Africa's version of Uber. Our reporters investigate in Ivory Coast. Then Dhananjay and Shona try three new gadgets:...

Read more