Assignment #2 – Media and Sovereignty

“The market is so powerful, technology so ubiquitous, that we are often reminded that the process of law making, especially in the field of media regulation, is like building castles in the sand where complex structures will be forcefully erased by an overwhelming cascade of waves.” (ch. 36, pg 307).  Monroe accumulates the entirety of the effect that the advanced globalization of media has today in every facet of our daily lives in an eloquent but precise manner.  He is absolutely correct that whether from the origination and usage of radio, to the invention of television and now to the internet, that media has caused a sense of global revolution against almost every part of every government of the world.  In the previous election, Barack Obama used successfully the internet and social networking to spread and reinforce his motto of “Change”.  Facebook has become not just a social networking site, but a revolutionary phenomenon for jobs and advertisement.  This upcoming Friday when Prince William will marry Kate Middleton, an unprecedented 2 billion people worldwide will watch.  But how has non-state actors challenged state sovereignty with these technologies of freedom?

One prime example is the case of Egpyt.  Everyone now knows that a youth led revolution was started against Mubarak this year.  The incredible aspect of this case is that the revolutionaries used a non-violent method of mass organization using twitter and facebook.  The government saw this as a direct threat to their sovereignty and even went as far as to shut the internet down.  But the sword of social networking and internet is untamable by a meer shutdown of a switch.  News got out and foreign twitter-ers and facebook advocates sent messages to used newly created ip addresses to get news and video out to the world.  When one ip was shut down, another 5 appeared in its place.  The government eventually succumbed to the fact that shutting down the internet and going against the grain was a pointless battle and “turned on” internet again.

Because of this uprising and the success it had in such a large country, it created a ripple affect in the Arab world, to Yemen, Libya and other countries.  All are using social network and the internet to get their messages across and the governments are helpless in preventing this peaceful revolution from occurring.

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One Response to “Assignment #2 – Media and Sovereignty”

  1. Prof. Hala says:

    Good report that cuts to the heart of the matter — the ongoing battle between the state and citizens in the spread information. As you note, the creation of “mirror sites” is a critical tactic in the battle. We saw this also in the response to corporate actors’ withdrawal of support for WikiLeaks, when countless mirror sites quickly popped up.