Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Connecting to the internet in Gaza; guides and a warning

A comprehensive Global Voices article this morning rounds up various strategies to ensure Gazans are prepared should the internet be restricted or compromised in Gaza.

Included is a link to an Anonymous guide to connecting to the internet. Here are some of their preventative measures.
MAKE YOUR NETWORK TANGIBLE 
Print out your contact list, so your phone numbers aren’t stuck in the cloud. Some mail services like Gmail allow you to export your online contact list in formats that are more conducive to paper, such as CSV or Vcard, and offer step-by-step guides on how to do this.

BROADCAST ON THE RADIO

Microbroadcasting: Microbroadcasting is the process of broadcasting a message to a relatively small audience. This is not to be confused with low-power broadcasting. In radio terms, it is the use of low-power transmitters to broadcast a radio signal over the space of a neighborhood or small town. Similarly to pirate radio, microbroadcasters generally operate without a license from the local regulation body, but sacrifice range in favor of using legal power limits.

TELEPHONE 
Set up a phone tree: According to the American Association of University Women, a phone tree is “a prearranged, pyramid-shaped system for activating a group of people by telephone” that can “spread a brief message quickly and efficiently to a large number of people.” Dig out that contact list you printed out to spread the message down your pyramid of contacts.
There's also a Telecomix guide ("Telecomix is a sociocyphernetic telecommunist feminist cluster of internet and data loving bots and people...") to accessing dialup connections and other phone services, on an open Etherpad.

It being open, however, seems to be causing the usual issues - providence, source and motives unknown. This from the chat window...

unnamedVox Palestine and #gaza chan are not Telecomix.
0:19unnamedTelecomix is about communications for everyone, regardless of politics.
0:20unnamedThere are some things written on this pad that are "political" and none of the people named at the bottom of the pad are Telecomix opers
0:21unnamedThere has been tweet from a Dr and head of EFF,
0:22unnamedthe tweet questioned this pad and that Telecomix was being "political"
0:22unnamedPlease do not use the Telecomix name for your personal politics.
0:22unnamedThank you <3

It should go without saying, everyone, activists or otherwise, should exercise caution when accessing these documents or services. Check out the full list over on Jillian C. York's original Global Voices article.

Update: Here's every verified incident of the crisis so far, mapped, on the Guardian's Data Blog, and a good article on reporting the situation from Al-Jazeera's Sherine Tadros.

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