[AlJazeera] Democracies learn from Mubarak's example
For the past eight months, the world has watched, captivated, as from one country to the next, youth have manipulated the digital tools that have become part and parcel of their everyday lives to serve their activism. The world too has witnessed as, in each country, state actors have made various attempts to quash the use of such tools.
Following days of rioting in London, [...] David Cameron proposed looking at "whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality" and noted that he had "asked the police if they need any other new powers", going on to suggest that Twitter, Facebook, and BlackBerry ought to consider removing messages that might spur further unrest in the country.
Both recent incidents indicate an alarming precedent being set. Cameron's consideration of broad censorship powers echoes similar measures once proposed -and rejected - in Turkey, while the actions of BART authorities have been conducted only by the most extreme of despots.