Two interesting pieces from today’s opinion pages pertained to the Internet and politics in the Middle East.
The first, by our own Guy Taylor, appeared in Beirut’s Daily Star. “Syria Today: Online and Hard-Line,” was adapted from an earlier article Guy wrote for Reason. Here’s a taste:
But paradoxes abound when it comes to the Internet in Syria, and a closer look reveals an authoritarian state apparently obsessed with manipulating the content of independent Web sites. While the government claims to be intent on spreading information technology to the masses, its desire to extend traditionally heavy-handed media restrictions into cyberspace raises the question of whether Syria’s rulers merely seek to use the Internet as a tool to enhance their own power.
For more on the Internet and Middle East politics, see “Brotherhood of the Blog,” by Marc Lynch in The Guardian. Lynch reports on an interesting development in Egypt’s blogosphere: