For anyone who has been in a coma over the last few weeks, there is some political upset in Iran.
Some Muslims pretended to set up a democratic government. Some Muslims objected to the farce and started to protest in the streets. Some other Muslims didn’t like the protests, and so started shooting them. Or maybe it was the first bunch. Or something.
This of course is markedly different to every other upset in the Middle East. And before you all say “of course it’s different – this is one is a struggle between freedom and oppresion, between good and evil”, well think again.
Actually it’s just different because of cell phones. Iran is a wealthy country (compared to most of the other poverty stricken Islamic cess-pits in the world), and protestors and passers-by have cheapo cell phones, which do two interesting things which conventional phones don’t.
Firstly, they do texting, so written reports of bloodshed and oppression can be thumbed out in glorious 160 character sound-bytes (er .. I mean text bytes). Secondly, and more importantly, they have cheapo video cameras in them. Video cameras which can actually record the bloodshed in even more glorious (if low resolution) color.
Humanitarians all over the world were outraged by the youtube video of the murder of a pretty young girl called ‘Neda’, shot through the chest by government forces, and bleeding out of her mouth and nose as she died on the street.
Then we learned that the Iranian government was using technology supplied by Nokia and Siemens to detect ‘subversive activity’ on the internet, and the cell phone network. And they used it to censor data and shut down the protests. Naughty Nokia and Siemens.
Now Slashdot reports that two US senators (Schumer and Graham) want to punish Nokia and Siemens for providing that technology. Apparently supplying governments with the technology to restrict internet access is an evil thing to do.
Funny thing is, there are many governments with that this kind of technology. Including the US, and including Australia.
In fact Uncle Kevin is part way through an internet filtering trial which would stop us mere citizens from accessing ‘unwanted’ material (so ‘unwanted’, apparently that we wouldn’t want to access it anyway).
Are they willing to punish multinationals for selling that technology to Australia as well – or just to Axes of Evil?
Selling internet censorship technology must be only evil if it it is sold to bad governments, not to good governments. Because we all know that the likes of Uncle Kev would never abuse their power.
Remember: Other governments are evil, but YOUR government only wants what’s good for you.