Although I'd heard plenty about it on the main news sites, I hadn't really looked into the current civil situation in Iran until I came across a link to an article linked on slashdot:
Slashdot Link: Click Me
Article Link: Click Me
Aside from the actual political issues regarding alleged rigging (I don't want to get too much involved in a discussion on that to adhere to forum rules) I think the way that the people of Iran involved in the situation are utilising the digital technology in their battle to coordinate and get their message out, in the face of a regime that is doing everything they can to suppress them in the digital arena and increasingly in terms of physical oppression, is incredible. In particular what has struck me is the amount of help and support they are getting from people in other countries.
To quote one comment from Slashdot:
Last year's bunch of guys in Guy Fawkes masks taking on the Cult of Scientology was just the warmup. This year, the sport of nerds is geopolitics.
This week, we had Twitter [twitter.com] replace CNN for live coverage of breaking news, Fark [fark.com] replacing the talking heads for analysis, Anonymous [whyweprotest.net] being linked to from The Pirate/Persian Bay [thepiratebay.org] for ways to distribute images of preconfigured proxy servers, and to distribute video, and, the rest of /b/ actually helping by selectively flipping the DDOS switch on and off on Iranian government websites.
It's like Vernor Vinge's Rainbows End [wikipedia.org] come to life.
What I really admire here is :
1) The tenacity of those people in Iran to keep doing what they are doing despite the danger that they may face in doing so. It's amazing what they are doing. I saw a previous post on slashdot with a request for help from an Iranian asking for help setting up an ad-hoc network of wireless routers as so much of the internet traffic was being blocked by the Iranian government firewalls. That people are doing anything and everything to keep Twitter feeds coming as well as posting photos and videos is a testament to their nature.
2) That 'the internet' as an entity really does shine in moments like this, that when people can see wrongs being done they actually want to do things to help and such is the technology around today, they actually can.
I love seeing technology develop, I love seeing it being used for good and I love moments when I can actually believe in the goodness of humanity again for once.