nadav | MIT Center for Civic Media

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UN Global Pulse Camp 1.0


(Photo credit: Christopher Fabian of UNICEF & Global Pulse)

Just got back from the UN "Pulse Camp 1.0".

Global Pulse is a new and quite ambitious UN initiative "to improve evidence-based decision-making and close the information gap between the onset of a global crisis and the availability of actionable information to protect the vulnerable" (Full overview at http://www.unglobalpulse.org/about).

Money as Media

Seems that Iranian activists are using banknotes to relay messages:
http://payvand.com/blog/blog/2009/11/16/exhibit-iranian-banknotes-uprising/
Make sure to check it out and see all the examples of the modified banknotes.

From the post:
'Anti-government activists are not allowed to express themselves in Iranian media, so theses activists have taken their expressions to another high circulation mass-medium, banknotes. The Central Bank of Iran has tried to take these banknotes out of circulation, but there are just too many of them, and gave up. For the activists’ people it’s a way of saying “We are here, and the green movement is going on”.'

Lets see what we get when we analyze this from a data communications perspective:

Iranian Government’s version of “privatization”


A few days ago the Iranian government completed the process of “privatizing” the Iranian national telecommunications company.

Sounds great right? Less state control, more public sector involvement, free market and all that jazz.

However, a closer looks shows that the majority stake (50% + 1 share), purchased for $7.8 billion, were bought by a consortium that is directly connected to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. Out of the 3 groups contending, one was disqualified by the government for not having the necessary security credentials (read: probably not affiliated with the Guard).

If you are not that familiar with the Guard, here’s some background: The Revolutionary Guard, or in its full name, “Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution”, was founded right after the revolution in 1979 as an independent force loyal to Khomeini, but later became a full military force alongside the regular army.
Here’s what AP describes in their article (link below):