“Since the exhilarating Arab spring, Egyptian activists have often spurned the claim that social media powered their revolution. It came from grassroots organising, mass action and good old fashioned class struggle, they insist. Similarly, they shrug off arguments that secret police can stop a revolution. They point to the fact that as the masses took to the streets, the Mubarak regime shut off the internet and mobile phone networks. Clearly Mubarak didn’t think internet surveillance could save him, and in the big scheme of things the cyber shutdown made little difference.”
There’s truth here–and it should be added that, with technology in the hands of the people, more innovative new ways of organizing digitally beyond the prying eyes of the NSA are sure to result from this mess.