The Camera combats the Gun


Violence has been the ultimate power factor in human conflicts until now. Our national constitutions can be seen as an attempt to make peace by giving police and military exclusive rights to use weapons against people.

Now there is an equally strong power factorInformation. In order to save his dictatorship, the former Egyptian president Mubarak did shut down the Internet and coaches his supporters on journalists and demonstrators with violence. If they had stopped the surveillance, Mubarak’s regime had been able to hide the power abuse. Then the violence won once again – but it didn’t.

Violence is a Shady phenomenon and information is Enlightenment. In the Tahir Square conflict, the camera defeated the gun. We will probably get used to seeing it happen. Extensive monitoring, free press, and transparency are the best protection against violence. With billions of potential spectators, no one wants to commit assault.

Nations are welcome to keep the monopoly of armed force, but it is essential that they do not also have a monopoly on information and monitoring. Then we risk state terrorism of the kind that Mubarak tried on. Information wants to be free.

We’re going through changes. Internet, satellites, mobile phones, and CCTV cameras are more important to peace today than the UN.

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