Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

REPORTERS

Argentina: The Kirchner era

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Tunisia presidential elections: Final day of campaigning ahead of Sunday's vote

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Holiday season: celebrating a secular Christmas

Read more

#THE 51%

Are toys really us?

Read more

ENCORE!

Child brides, the people of Syria and New York’s homeless

Read more

FOCUS

Video: Pakistan in mourning after school massacre

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya: Security law approved despite disruptions in Parliament

Read more

DEBATE

Wrecked Rouble: Putin Defiant as Currency Tumbles (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Wrecked Rouble: Putin Defiant as Currency Tumbles (part 1)

Read more

We explore the digital revolution and check out the latest technological trends. Every Saturday at 2.45 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

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2014-12-12 Internet

Hand-crank powered mobile phone 'Pilo' put to the test

Instagram is now bigger than Twitter! The mobile app has reached 300 million monthly active users with over 70 million photos & videos shared every day. We take a closer look...

Read more

2014-12-05 technology

YotaPhone 2 review: The 5-inch dual-screen handset is back

This week on #TECH24 we put the dual-screen YotaPhone 2 to the test: you'll understand why this handset promises 100 hours of battery life. Plus, a closer look at the leaked...

Read more

2014-11-28 technology

Virtual insanity? Artist to 'experience life' through Oculus Rift headset for 28 days

British artist Mark Farid is ready to wear the Oculus Rift headset for 28 days as part of an extraordinary identity experiment. In this edition we ask him where the idea came...

Read more

2014-11-28 music

What does the future hold... for music?

What does the future hold... for music? Musicians - and other industry experts - got together in Paris to experiment with sound and technology... and to get the next generation...

Read more

2014-11-21 technology

Tech giants under scrutiny: The problem with Uber

Silicon Valley giants Uber, Snapchat, and Facebook are all under scrutiny for the way they're handling business. Is the controversy merely a coincidence? Or might this be a sign...

Read more