The latest edition of This Week In Tech (#199) had an excellent discussion on the reaction to the Iran elections and more importantly the lack of response by many media outlets this weekend. During the course of this discussion John Dvorak asked “What’s the Rush?” “Why do we need to know what is going on in Tehran this second?”
Well I have an answer for that. Response to events is as much a part of the story as the initial event itself. This is especially true in the world of politics where they deliver bad news late on Friday – To blunt the response. If ‘they’ can get past the initial response, many things will lose there momentum and the political pressure to address them will ebb away.
Nothing could be more true than in less open political environments (democracies or not). Much of the changes in Russia and China in the last part of the last century was due to unfiltered communication. Despite the attempts to filter the internet in China, and this weekend in Iran, the only way to stop conversations is to shut off the pipes. In any modern economy the financial cost will be too great to cut off a country entirely.
As a technical person I believe that any technical steps that can be taken to filter any large volume of internet traffic will be incomplete at best – and that’s a good thing.