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The Economist's "Babbage" blog notes lessons from the Conference on Cyber Dissidents

April 22, 2010 by George W. Bush Presidential Center

The post is about a story told by Yoani Sánchez (who was unable to address the Conference) about a friend whose cell phone screen may have saved him from arrest by Cuban secret police. “Babbage” continues: “Interesting enough on its own, but then this week Ethan Zuckerman reported from a conference on cyber dissidents at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas. (Parts III and III are all worth reading.) Two guests pointed out that the internet is better at getting information out of repressive countries than it is at moving it around within them. ‘Ernesto Hernandez Busto, a Cuban dissident and blogger living in Barcelona, notes that citizen media’s value in his country is reportorial, not organizational. Stories likethe death of patients in mental hospitals through freezing to death would never have been reported in state-controlled media – to the extent that the internet creates an alternative media space, it’s the most important space for journalism. ‘David Keyes, co-founder of the new Cyberdissidents.org project, explains his agenda: he wants to make dissidents very famous. He’s worked closely with Russian refusenik and later Israeli politician Natan Sharansky, and took as a lesson from Sharansky’s work and life that dissidents who aren’t known suffer in silence, while those who are famous have their struggles publicized and escape some harm. He suggests that social movements like the April 6 movement in Egypt need to be less about the movement, and more about individual actors.’” From By the Light of his Nokia, posted Apr 22nd 2010, 16:12


George W. Bush Presidential Center



As the 13th presidential library, the Bush Library and Museum promotes an understanding of the American presidency, examines the specific time in history during which President Bush served, and provides access to official records and artifacts from the Bush Administration.



The Bush Institute is an action-oriented, nonpartisan policy organization that cultivates leaders, fosters policies to solve today’s most pressing challenges, and takes action to save and change lives. Our work is inspired by the principles that guide President and Mrs. Bush in public life.

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