Arab Politics and the Internet

Joseph Braude writes in The New Republic:

The Internet is now a destabilizing force to Arab governments, some of which are trying and failing to bottle it back up. Despite its relatively modest penetration in the region, the web is threatening the status quo–in societies as conservative as Saudi Arabia and police states as tightly run as Syria and Tunisia–in ways that previous technologies never could. That’s in part because it is making obsolete the strategies that Arab governments had used for centuries–with almost perfect success–to quash dissent and cling to power. It may be trite to speak of the Internet’s transformative power; but in the case of the Arab world in 2005, it appears increasingly to be real.

More here.