Thinking about the struggles to articulate democracy in the era where the very means of expression are owned, the Arab spring gives a chance to see the information strategies of dictatorships on the wane.
In an interesting Al Jazeera article, they note the hacking collective anonymous who helped to provide tools for information sharing during the government clampdown in Tunisia.
As Anons realised the significance of what was taking place in Tunisia – and the fact that it was being ignored by foreign media – they collaborated with Tunisian dissidents to help them share videos with the outside world.
Anonymous quickly created a “care packet”, translated into Arabic and French, offering cyberdissidents advice on how to conceal their identities on the web, in order to avoid detection by the former regime’s cyberpolice.
They used their collective brainpower to develop a greasemonkey script – an extension for the Mozilla Firefox web browser – to help Tunisians evade an extensive phishing campaign carried out by the government.