The Increasing Power of The Internet

Since the introduction of the worldwide web on 26 February 1991 by Mr Tim Berners-Lee,  the internet has grown phenomenally and has greatly flattened our world. And almost unawaringly, the internet has become so intertwined with our real world.

Blogs are no longer kid’s play

According to blog trackers Technorati, the blogosphere is growing at a pace of 1.4 weblog created every second. In their State of Blogosphere report, it said the number of blogs it was tracking now stood at more than 70 million blogs with about 120,000 new weblogs being created worldwide each day!!

If you think these blogs are merely kid’s play, you are sorely mistaken. One should never under-estimate the influence these blogs and websites have.

Myanmar exposed

Taking the recent Myanmar’s protests for an example, what actually led to the exposure of the Junta’s heavy-hand tactics for the world to see has everything to do with the Internet through a few popoular blogs in Myanmar. The Junta in attempts to stop the world from seeing and hearing the pro-democracy protests cut public access to the Internet. But it was the case of a little too late.

The difference with the last major uprising in 1988 then, had as many as 3,000 people being killed by the soldiers’ opened fire, but it took days for the news- let alone photos or video- to emerge.

However, a leaked video clip of General Than Shwe’s daughter’s wedding which was circulated and uploaded on Youtube allowed the whole world to have a glimpse of the lavish lifestyles enjoyed by the generals.

This exclusive video showed the bride draped in diamonds and other expensive jewels and gifts which was said to be worth US$50 million. This expose was one of the reasons which sparked the people to hit the streets.

What can we expect next

With technology- the Internet playing a crucial role in putting Myanmar on a global spotlight. This has evidently proved the increasing power of the Internet in today’s context.

This is good news for citizen-journalism, but at the same time we should expect more governments and organisations paying more closer attention on any foresee-able threats from blogs or websites that may caused “unrest”.

Knowing well how pro-active our government is, I would not be surprise that they are taking some lessons from this Myanmar’s episode.  So I would be expecting them releasing new “improved” cyberspace policies and regulations soon.

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