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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Is New Technology Enabling Government Crackdowns?

A protester waves an Egyptian flag that reads "We Love Egypt" during a demonstration after Friday prayers in Tahrir Square.

A protester waves an Egyptian flag that reads "We Love Egypt" during a demonstration after Friday prayers in Tahrir Square. (AP)

The uprisings across parts of the Arab world have been called the Facebook revolution with citizens using social media and cell phones to organize.

But they aren’t the only ones taking advantage of this technology. An investigation by Bloomberg News found that countries like Bahrain, Egypt, Syria and Yemen have bought surveillance systems from Western companies that can track what people say and do online or on their cell phones. These countries allegedly use that information to capture, and sometimes even torture, dissidents.

Guest:

  • Vernon Silver, Bloomberg News reporter

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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