With Liberty & Texting For All…

The article below is another example and reason why we should beware of letting the government have too big of a role in our lives – especially when they claim to be acting in the interest of our safety and personal well-being. It should also serve as a warning of the dangerous connections between our government and corporate interests. When they are completely one and the same, how we will hope to prevent a ban like this one from happening here in the US?

Africa may seem like a world away but note the similarities between the problems in their system…and the problems in ours…

Excerpts From BBC Article, DR Congo election: Deaf anger at ban on texting

By Thomas Hubert

Published 14 December 2011

Deaf people in the Democratic Republic of Congo say a ban on texting threatens their lives because they no longer receive warnings of violence.

The government banned SMS messages more than a week ago to preserve “public order” following disputed elections.

President Joseph Kabila was declared the winner, but his main rival, Etienne Tshisekedi, rejected the result. Last month’s elections were the second since the 1998-2003 war which claimed about four million lives.

Four people were killed in the capital, Kinshasa, after Mr Kabila’s victory was announced. He is due to be inaugurated for a second term next week. The official results gave him 49% of the vote against 32% for Mr Tshisekedi.

The opposition says they plan to organise mass protests, alleging the polls had been rigged.

According to the Kinshasa-based African Association for the Defence Human Rights (Asadho), the texting ban has affected all Congolese people.

It said text messages were an essential tool for communities to maintain security, as they could spread alerts cheaply, quickly and discreetly to a large number of people who may be in danger.

Other human rights groups have warned that the ban could cost human lives in isolated regions with poor mobile phone reception, as emergency services could only be alerted to rebel attacks via text message.

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2 comments on “With Liberty & Texting For All…

  1. Very worrying… At 1st glance I thought that top photo was of the recent London Riots…there has been talk of blocking Twitter and other forms of social networking sites should these situations occur again…I think government control will become tighter and tighter, and interference with mobile phone communication is not far away either. I wonder if they take into account the dangers for those who like myself rely on them and have no landline access? As you mention above emergency services etc…scary…Our rights and liberties are being systematically stripped away.

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    • MisBehaved says:

      It is worrisome…very much so. Anyone who thinks this couldn’t or wouldn’t happen here isn’t paying attention. Look at what happened when people tried to organize protests against BART in San Francisco – cell phone communications were shut down. So…in the case of more civil unrest I don’t doubt for one second that the people in power would shut us all down in a heart beat. I don’t have a landline, either…I can’t imagine not being able to reach my daughter or family in case of an emergency!

      We’re losing our rights a piece at a time and it’s hard not to worry about what the future holds if more people don’t start waking up and realizing what is happening.

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