The Wall Street Journal, 28 September 2007 reports that “as Myanmar’s regime cracks down on a growing protest movement, ‘citizen journalists’ are are breaking the news to the world.”
Cellphone cameras, text messaging, blogging, and even satellite phones are enabling democracy movements to subvert oppressive governments from restricting communications into and out of their regimes and sanitizing media coverage of their repressive, cruel rule.
While soldiers fired automatic weapons into a crowd of pro-democracy demonstrators, Burmese citizens were sending photos and text messages to news agencies around the world. And the world responded with warnings and sanctions against the Myanmar government, keeping the death toll to only nine people so far.
“Even in countries like Myanmar, the spread of the Internet and mobile phones has meant the footage will always continue to get through and the story will be told, one way or another.”
If only this technology existed when the Nazis where herding the Jews unto cattle cars and taking them to the myriad of concentration (i.e. extermination) camps—perhaps, the shocking, real-time information and brutal photos would’ve moved the world to action sooner.
In fact, even the last time there was a large scale protest in Myanmar in 1988, the technology was not widely available and the result was a military massacre of more than 3000 civilians!
“Technology has changed everything…now in a split second, you have the story.”
From a User-centric EA perspective, we apply technology solutions to meet information requirements of the end-users in the enterprise. The business of EA is information and technology—those things that are opening up democracy in Myanmar. In EA, the results are improved mission execution and results of operation. That’s in a business or government setting. But how does information flow and technology affect geopolitics?
The answer is greatly, as we can see from the events in Myanmar:
Information technology is not only important to business and consumers, governments and citizens, but it is critical to the world’s progress—IT has geopolitical implications, including:
- Spreading freedom and human rights
- Feeding the world’s hungry
- Healing of the world’s sick
- Imposing peace and order
“Information is power” and this is enabled and magnified by the application of technology and modern communications. If we use the information technology wisely, we can make the world a better place for everyone!