For those English readers curious about WikiLeaks, here’s the first part of an enlightening interview on Dateline. I’ve previously written about Central Asian reactions to the whistle-blower site.
Can the peaks and pitfalls of the consumer economics of information technology teach us something about Kyrgyzstan’s recent past, its present, and its likely future? neweurasia’s Nils thinks so. Applying “hype cycle theory”, he compares the interim government to a new electronic consumer product and the Kyrgyz public to the network of users with some enlightening results.
WikiLeaks may end up becoming Central Asia’s best hope for bringing to light their leaders’ many dark secrets, say neweurasia’s bloggers from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Yet, there are many problems, not least of which is trust, all of which WikiLeaks or other whistle-blower websites will have to overcome, writes neweurasia’s Schwartz.
The leak of the Afghanistan war logs by the website WikiLeaks has sparked a global debate on the power and appropriateness of certain kinds of information. neweurasia wants to know your opinion! Also, neweurasia’s Schwartz weighs in with his view on what may motivate WikiLeaks.
Since the uprising last month, I’ve made it a daily habit to check out the live feed of a webcam that overlooks Ala-Too Square in Bishkek. I’ve been sick the last few days, with a bad headache and supreme grogginess that not even the blackest coffee can cure, but in pursuit of my editorial duties I’ve nevertheless stepped up my strange little ritual now that potential trouble is rumbling in Bishkek and the South. However, I’m guilty that it’s not entirely for professional reasons that I’m also scoping out this webcam. The truth is I also think it’s really cool…
Today marks the fifth anniversary of the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan. neweurasia’s Schwartz, who was an editor of Thinking-East.net at the time, reflects upon what the revolution meant not only for the country, but for himself as a journalist. “Conceptually-speaking, clearly something more complicated, interesting, and powerful was going on than just ‘mere’ journalism,” he writes. “Thus was my first encounter with citizen-based new media, face-to-electronic-face, spontaneous, and history-making.”
Is Turkmenistan becoming a battleground between two enormous visions? neweurasia’s Annasoltan believes it is. For too long her country has been written off as an absurdity when it’s really a microcosm of a greater human struggle. “We are tiring of the slow dial-up death of tyranny,” she writes, “we want to be jacked in, hyperlinked, downloaded, and shared!”
neweurasia’s Nuraika reports on an interesting new use of mobile phone technology in Kyrgyzstan: daily academic SMSing. But does is this healthy oversight or surveillance (not to mention cost effective)? Diesel Forum users, many of whom are parents themselves, respond.
As Turkmenistan tries to repress information about swine flu, the Turkmenet is responding in force. “The Turkmen government may now be learning the hard way that in the modern age viruses are the ultimate anarchists, obeying no one’s rules,” writes neweurasia’s Annasoltan, “and that the internet may be the most viral creature of all.”
The global domain name regulator ICANN has announced plans to end the Latin alphabet’s domination of the internet. neweurasia’s Kyrgyz bridge-blogger Mirsulzhan examines weighs the pros and cons of the decision. Is de-Latinization really unprecedented? And does it threaten global online unity?
For the last two months neweurasia’s Annasoltan has been tracking the development of the “Turkmenet”, the small but growing online community in the Turkmen language. Mystery surrounds the motivations of Turkmenistan’s government: why are the authorities so aggressively intent on expanding the internet yet also so untypically relaxed about digital dissent?