Can Google bring democracy to Arabs?

Technology never ceases to amaze me;

“Since Bahrain’s government blocked the Google Earth website earlier this year for its intrusion into private homes and royal palaces, Googling their island kingdom has become a national pastime for many Bahrainis.

The site allows internet users to view satellite images of the world in varying degrees of detail. When Google updated its images of Bahrain to higher definition, cyber-activists seized on the view it gave of estates and private islands belonging to the ruling al-Khalifa family to highlight the inequity of land distribution in the tiny Gulf kingdom.

A senior government official told the Financial Times that Google Earth had allowed the public to pry into private homes and ogle people’s motor yachts and swimming pools. But he acknowledged that the government’s three-day attempt to block the site had proved counterproductive.

It gave instant publicity to Google Earth and contributed to growing sophistication among Bahrainis in circumventing web censorship.

It also provided more ammunition to democracy activists ahead of parliamentary elections this Saturday, the second since King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa began introducing limited political reforms in 2001. “

Via FP blog.

Related;
Mahmood’s Den
Bahrainis use Google Earth to spy on royals' palaces

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This page contains a single entry by Paul published on November 28, 2006 3:56 PM.

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