Digital Activism


Marcinho Savant

On Saturday 29th January 2011, @marcinhosavant said:


Alicia Ali Marsden

To all the people of world

The people in Egypt are under governmental siege. Mubarak regime is banning Facebook, Twitter, and all other popular internet sites Now, the internet are completely blocked in Egypt. Tomorrow the government will block the 3 mobile phone network will be completely blocked.

And there is news that even the phone landlines will be cut tomorrow, to prevent any news agency from following what will happen.

Suez city is already under siege now. The government cut the water supply and electricity, people, including, children and elderly are suffering there now. The patients in hospitals cannot get urgent medical care. The injured protesters are lying in the streets and the riot police are preventing people from helping them. The families of the killed protesters cannot get the bodies of their sons to bury them. This picture is the same in north Saini (El-Sheikh zoyad city) and in western Egypt (Al-salom). The riot police is cracking down on protesters in Ismailia, Alexandria, Fayoum, Shbin Elkoum, and Cairo, the capital, in many neighborhoods across the city.

The government is preparing to crackdown on the protesters in all Egyptian cities. They are using tear gas bombs, rubber and plastic pullets, chemicals like dilutes mustard gas against protesters. Several protesters today have been killed when the armored vehicles of the riot police hit them. Officials in plain clothes carrying blades and knives used to intimidate protesters. Thugs deployed by the Egyptian Ministry of Interior are roaming the streets of Cairo, setting fire on car-wheels as means of black propaganda to demonize protesters and justify police beatings and state torture

All this has been taken place over the past three days during the peaceful demonstrations in Cairo and other cities. Now, with the suspicious silence of the local media and the lack of coverage from the international media, Mubarak and his gang are blocking all the channels that can tell the world about what is happening.

People who call for their freedom need your support and help. Will you give them a hand?

The activists are flooding the net (youtube and other sites) with thousands of pictures and videos showing the riot police firing on armless people. The police started to use ammunition against protesters. 15-year old girl has been injured and another 25 year old man has been shot in the mouth. While nothing of these has appeared in the media, there is more to happen tomorrow. Will you keep silent? Will you keep your mouth shut while seeing all these cruelty and inhumane actions?

We don’t ask for much, just broadcast what is happening

Written by: Mariam Hussien
31 minutes ago · Like


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First of all, dismissing info-activism as ‘just sharing pictures’ is so early 2000s. I’m only a little bit kidding. Because in all seriousness, in the age of digital information, spreading awareness by sharing images & information actually is important. And as much as older generations (who must not be paying attention to rapidly changing cultural shifts in how information is digested or who simply don’t understand the opportunities that creates) like to foolishly repeat the dismissive notion that anything done on the internet isn’t really doing anything ‘real’, that simply isn’t the case. Virtual space is where many of the meaningful social dialogues in our society are now happening. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing, if you care about the future of society, you have an obligation to participate in and affect that space.

That’s why these campaigns work so hard to get people to take quality photographs & to edit photos and maintain pages for the campaigns. The images are taken, made & posted so that we (the world/internet) will share them. It affects turn out to direct actions, it magnifies the impact, etc. Awareness is the whole point of these actions, so instead of the action only being seen by three people driving by that day (plus the workers at the construction site,) thousands will get to see what a few have done in these actions. It affects national consciousness and conversations around the world. It’s important. And every day as more people turn to the internet over TV, and turn to the internet for news over print media, it becomes more important, more relevant, more essential. Virtual spaces are not going away. They are increasingly relevant and increasingly helpful for sharing visual information, and that will continue to be the case for the foreseeable future. Affecting the consciousness, being vigilant in making sure that the left is more involved than others, is important for shaping our society and the possibilities of our society going forward.

Direct action is extremely important, for obvious reasons. If you specifically want to get involved with direct actions regarding the keystone XL pipeline, the states that have the pipeline are probably your only option. If you have a free weekend and the capacity to travel, they relatively often have campaign events calling for participants to arrive for a series of coordinated actions over a weekend. Gracie & I were recently able to go to a blockade in East Texas; we were there for three days. See the above map for ideas of where you might be able to travel to get involved with some pipeline resistance. If there isn’t a campaign related to your nearest pipeline, you can organize with others to build one. You really can. No, really. You can. You can use this blog for help finding like minds if you decide to go in that direction.

But there are many other direct action campaigns in Portland, Oregon that you can get involved with. Here a few starting resources for finding environmental organizations in your area that you could potentially get involved with:

Recent events in Egypt | The Tor Blog

The current state of affairs in Egypt looks quite bleak for people using Vodafone, Orange, TE Data, and other well-known service providers. It is reported that each of those companies was ordered by the Egyptian government to turn down their internet services. The nature of the order and its legality is of course very unclear at this time. What is known is that nearly in perfect unison many Egyptian ISPs turned down their BGP route announcements to countries outside of Egypt and from what we’ve been able to gather they’re also not peering with each other. The cables connecting (FLAG and SEABONE) Egypt to the world are still physically intact.

The impact of de-peering is significant; even if someone is able to get packets directly to the edge routers of TE Data or another ISP, no response will be forthcoming. Renesys, RIPE, and BGPmon have fantastic technical details for those without access to an active BGP router.

At this point it is also well-known that the ISP Noor has been up through the entire event. With access to systems inside of Egypt, we have discovered that it appears to be entirely unfiltered - Tor works perfectly, controversial websites are not blocked, and it is even quite fast compared to our systems on other Egyptian networks. As of very late last night, systems from Noor were still unable to reach systems on TE Data or other networks in Egypt. Early this morning it appears that another ISP, Etisalat (AS36992), returned to the Internet (via and we’re working with contacts in Egypt to test any possible filtering and to ensure that Tor is functional on their network.

In our tests of the TE Data network before it disconnected, we found very heavy handed but sloppy filtering. Tests of popular websites revealed that TE Data filtered based on IP blocklists, they did not tamper with DNS queries, they did not trigger TCP resets on keywords, nor did they attempt to perform any kind of Man-In-The-Middle attacks on SSL or SSH connections. While it is possible that TE Data may have layer seven filtering or Deep Packet Inspection capabilities, it does not appear to have used any advanced filtering methods.

While the seemingly unfiltered nature of Noor’s network is a positive development and sharply contrasts with the heavy filtering of TE Data’s network, we have no methods for discovering data retention policies or wiretapping capabilities of any of the available networks in Egypt. We urge all people in Egypt to consider that any ISP may log data and depending on political outcomes, it may not be favorable to have easy to trace records of your online activities.

Many Egyptians are also using dial up services that route through the Egyptian controlled state telecommunications systems. While on the face this seems safe and it may very well be safer than a known filtered or probably wiretapped network, it’s certainly not outside of the capabilities of the Egyptian authorities to decode or analyse these kinds of communications. We urge people who are using dial up systems or leased lines, VSAT or even BGAN connections to be cautious. The nature of any internet connection has a variable difficulty for monitoring but it is by no means impossible. That’s why we’re working so hard on Tor because the world needs software for traffic analysis resistance; the internet doesn’t have this for free and certainly not in a country with a highly centralized internet architecture.

There is a serious trade off to be made by users in hostile network environments with major political instability: Tor usage is possibly detectable with a skilled adversary. Connections made with questionable “privacy” or “security” proxy services are certainly easier than detecting Tor because of their static nature. The same is true of VPN services: all of these things are probably detectable with the right understanding and the proper equipment. It goes without saying that entirely unprotected connections to known unfavorable sites or services is detectable and well within the reach of the Egyptian network operators.

Please understand that while we make no promises, we believe that Tor is currently the best option for people in this situation. It’s what we use when we’re in Egypt and it’s what we think will serve people the best in Egypt when they have a network connection to the rest of the internet.

The number of users in Egypt in the last week has skyrocketed:

The number of bridges run around the world has increased remarkably:

Most impressively, the number of fully public Tor relays has increased:

It appears that the Tor network itself has gained bandwidth capacity and geographical scope thanks to people concerned with the situation in Egypt. If you’d like to get involved, we’d love it if you could help by running a Tor relay or a Tor bridge.


And today we no longer fight to become Europe, we fight to remain Ukraine

After police used brutal force to disperse week-long anti-government protests in Kyiv on November 30, protesters have returned to the streets in greater numbers and are demanding the government’s resignation.

#Euromaidan Protests: ‘We Fight to Remain Ukraine’

How have social media, digital cameras, and amateur photojournalism altered the way photographs capture the everyday, define current events, and steer social and political movements?

With participants from Instagram, WIRED, Magnum Photos, The New York Times Magazine, and more, Bearing Witness on 3/16 will be a photography symposium you won’t want to miss.

RSVP on Facebook.

UPDATE: this event is currently at capacity, but it will be LIVE STREAMED here! Help us spread the word: #BearingWitness.

Episode 6 of Reappropriate: The Podcast is now live! This episode features a great conversation between myself and Cayden Mak (@Cayden) of 18MillionRising. We talk identity formation in an increasingly digital age, as well as digital tools as one of several tools in an activist toolbox. We briefly touch on the Stephen Salaita controversy in relation to the perils of when digital activism crosses over into the real-world.

You can stream the video and audio of episode 6 using YouTube above (subscribe to my channel to be notified of new episodes), listen to just the audio using the mp3 player below, or download the podcast for your iPod or iPhone through the iTunes Store.

Next episode: Please join me in two weeks’ time when I hope to have a conversation about the third rail in AAPI politics: interracial dating. Guests are still being scheduled, so episode time and link are TBA.

Check out my next adventure with Reapprorpiate as my partner and I talk with Jenn about interracial dating!