Cellphones: 'The Dagger at the Throat of the Creaky Old Regimes'

The Times has a short piece on the importance of cell phone video in fomenting unrest in the Middle East. It's a clean, cogent explanation of a phenomenon that we noted in detail in Tunisia. The basic premise: when everyone has a video camera, it's harder for governments to control the narrative in their countries.

A novelty less than a decade ago, the cellphone camera has become a vital tool to document the government response to the unrest that has spread through the Middle East and North Africa.

Recognizing the power of such documentation, human rights groups have published guides and provided training on how to use cellphone cameras effectively.

"You finally have a video technology that can fit into the palm of one person's hand, and what the person can capture can end up around the world," said James E. Katz, director of the Rutgers Center for Mobile Communication Studies. "This is the dagger at the throat of the creaky old regimes that, through the manipulation of these old centralized technologies, have been able to smother the public's voice."

Read the full story at the New York Times.

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