The Internet In Other Countries

There is currently no Internet access in Syria. Global traffic firm Akamai reports that at Internet traffic cut off in Syria at  10:26 GMT today. Fighting between rebels and troops currently focused around Damascus is likely the cause of this event.

Syria’s Minister of Information has released a statement that says “terrorists” are responsible for the Internet outage, “It is not true that the state cut the Internet. The terrorists targeted the Internet lines, resulting in some regions being cut off.”

Meanwhile, in Mumbai, 21-year-old Shaheen Dhadha was arrested for a status she posted to Facebook. It read:

“People like Thackeray are born and die daily and one should not observe a bandh for that.Respect is earned, not given and definitely not forced. Today Mumbai shuts down due to fear and not due to respect.”

Shaheen Dhadha

A bandh is a city wide shutdown, a way to show respect, to remember or observe. Originally the Hindi word for “closed”, it’s a form of protest used by political activists, in this instance those who supported Bal Thackeray, leader and founder of the Shiv Sena political party.

Dhada’s friend Renu was arrested for ‘liking’ the post.

I know this isn’t the kind of thing I usually write about, but I use Boy Android for things that interest me, and both of these events interest me greatly (maybe because they’ve made it to the news on the same day). I’ve always felt that the Internet is an extension of life, specifically after the popularization of social media. It augments what we do, and as such is a representation of who we are.

Basically, what we do and say on the Internet matters. It’s important. To that end, I think that the Internet is quickly becoming a human right. It connects us, makes the world smaller, allows for a free exchange of ideas. When that right is tampered with, I believe it’s a crime against basic human rights.

All that to say, I’m not sure what I think about all this, or about the two events mentioned above. What do you think? Please feel free to comment below, I’d love to have a discussion about these events. I’m sure I’m exercising at least some ignorance.

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