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Old Tech Is New Tech

If you have heard the news at all in the last few weeks, then you will be aware of the situation in Tunisia.

 After days of protests and the defiance of night curfews, President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali fled the country and an emergency government was formed out of the current government and the opposition.

A few days after Tunisia left the headlines, it was replaced with Egypt. A similar situation is unfolding there now; Egyptians are on the streets protesting for the removal of President Hosni Mubarak.

To try and calm the nation, the Egyptian authorities have sent tanks onto the streets, imposed curfews across the country and restricted the use of the internet. The vast majority of the country's internet has become unreachable.

The internet is very important and influential, it's a way of communicating with others, a way of organising events (do we defy the curfew, will it be done in masses or not?) it's a way of telling the rest of the world what's happening, etc.

Therefore, the authorities restricting the internet, has had a big affect on what the people do. Many view it as unfair, but some say it's needed to help keep the peace.
Open QuoteFor millions, in countries like Egypt, the ability to get instant access to information which could change the shape of their lives is becoming as much of a human right as access to clean water...Close Quote
Source: Rory Cellan-Jones – BBC technology correspondent

So in this modern ear, where all the latest tech isn't working, how do people get by? They use the old tech! Dial-up modems and fax machines are some of the few bits of ‘old tech' which are now being used by Egyptians for communication.

A tin can and string phone - Basic technology Many Egyptians have been Tweeting from dial-up connections. People in countries from around the world have set up pools of modems that will accept international calls, in an attempt to reopen the Egyptian internet and get information to and from protesters to other protesters and the rest of the world.

Odd to think isn't it, all that tech which is no longer cutting edge like the humble fax machine, are still used in times of crisis. In many movies, modern technology is destroyed/taken down, and what saves the day? Usually things like walkie talkies and underground (not literally) now illegal internet connections.

Is it right that the authorities in Egypt have attempted to block access to the internet? Whatever happens, people will always find a alternatives ways to communicate, whether by satellite, (okay that's not strictly old tech) fax, over the airwaves, people will find a way of getting their message out there.

Posted By: Christopher (Admin)
Date posted: 1st February 2011

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