Joshua Schnell, December 2, 2011
Syria has decided that anyone with an iPhone is a major problem for the country’s stability. The government has issued a warning to anyone using an iPhone in Syria: As of today, the iPhone is a banned device in the country.
Protestors have been using mobile devices to post videos online of the violent crackdown on protestors recently. There has been a Syrian uprising ongoing since January in the country. Protestors are demanding that President Bashar Al-Assad step down and that the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party allow opposition parties, as well as freedom of press, speech, and assembly.
There’s no word on if Syria is only cracking down on the iPhone, or if Android and other “smartphones” are also on the list.
One reason why the iPhone could be getting singled out is that last month sthe official opposition launched an iPhone and iPad application, called Souria Wa Bas (translated to Syria and That’s All). The application featured links to news, gruesome videos of security forces shooting and beating protestors, and maps of opposition hotspots, amongst other things. Essentially, the app became a rallying point for anyone opposed to the Al-Assad government.
The opposition is clearly tech-savvy and making use of the iPhone in its struggle against oppression. It’s likely the catalyst for why the iPhone is being singled out, and why Syrian officials are banning the iPhone.
Here’s what someone needs to tell these officials: the iPhone is just the medium for the message. Unless they’re planning on going all North Korea on technology, the opposition will find another means to communicate their message to the world.Follow @macgasm