“I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. Those are not just American ideas, they are human rights, and that is why we will support them everywhere.”
Those were the stirring words President Obama used at his
Why does the
In his second State of the Union address on January 25, President Obama equated Tunisian revolution with freedom. “We saw,” he said, “that same desire to be free in
What a golden opportunity the President missed by not including
As my Egyptian friend Mustafa asked: “Does this mean that the
American-Muslims, meanwhile, have thrown their full support behind Egyptians fighting unarmed for their freedom. During the Friday Khutbah in the largest mosque in
During the Tunisian revolution, President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his sycophants cut off Internet access, particularly access to Facebook. As reported by Alexis Madrigal of The Atlantic, the Facebook security team at its headquarters in
After more than ten days of intensive investigation, Facebook's security team realized that
The security team coded a two-step response. First, all Tunisian requests for Facebook were routed to an https server. The https protocol encrypts the information sent across it (the “s” in “https” stands for “secure” or “secure sockets layer” (SSL), so it is not vulnerable to the keylogging strategy used by the Tunisian ISPs. The second technical solution was a "roadblock" for anyone who had logged out and then back in during the time when the Tunisian malicious code was running.
Facebook rolled out the new solutions to all of
Hosni Mubarak also followed the path of his now-deposed fellow-dictator: He ordered the state-controlled ISPs to completely cut off
Still, it is reasonable to expect that companies like Facebook will give special consideration to activists trying to overthrow repressive regimes. If the company wants to remain central to people's political aspirations, it has to come up with a powerful, long-term solution that can be activated at a moment’s notice when access to the site is denied by any country. From a hardware point of view, if dictators block Internet data pipes into their countries, perhaps multiple satellite connections as backups can be in place so that communication can continue uninterrupted in spite of latency issues.
However the technology evolves, the days of dictators who equate dissent with treason and oppress and torture their people are coming to an end. Muslim nations are beset by modern-day pharaohs. For the creativity of millions of Muslims to flower in freedom, the pharaohs will be overthrown, if not today, then certainly tomorrow. That is the lesson of