Nathan Freitas Responds To Legba Carrefour | Digital Nation | FRONTLINE | PBS
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Nathan Freitas responds to Legba Carrefour


Nathan Freitas
So you've got a situation where a government that's pretty publicly opposed against the government of another country deliberately encourages information resonance across a network turns around and suppresses the same network use within its own borders. I'm a huge booster of what's happening in Iran, but that's a pretty creepy dynamic.

Legba... yes! This is an excellent point about when this technology of dissent comes home to roost and how the U.S. government and other pro-democracy governments react. I actually brought this up in congressional hearing (the U.S. Helsinki Commission), awkwardly titled "Twitter against Tyrants", that I was asked to participate in last October. Other than being the usually homogenous mix of (mostly) white male panelists, it was an interesting discussion.

I was one of the comms centers folk at RNC2004, working with TXTMobs, IAA, Ruckus and so on. The Pittsburgh incident had just happened and was fresh in my mind... and I felt I had to say something, so I blurted this out:

" And while the free world is enamored of these tools and we're here with this hearing, our own federal, state and local law enforcement are often quite fearful of their use at home. So just recently, Elliot Madison, a 41-year-old social worker, was arrested in Pittsburgh and charged with hindering apprehension for prosecution, criminal use of a communication facility and possession of instruments of crime.

He was found with a computer and was using Twitter. This is a contradiction that we must address and come to term with. "

You can view the transcript and hearing video here.

posted February 2, 2010

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