35 Fletcher F. World Aff. 15 (2011)
Unplugging a Nation: State Media Strategy during Egypt's January 25 Uprising

handle is hein.journals/forwa35 and id is 175 raw text is: 15

Unplugging a Nation:
State Media Strategy During
Egypt's January 25 Uprising
ALEXANDRA DUNN
INTRODUCTION
As access to information communication technology (ICT) becomes
more widespread, it has become part of national infrastructure and global
networks used not only by governments and businesses, but by popula-
tions at large. Though there is considerable debate concerning the impact
of communication tools-such as the Internet and mobile phones-on
political engagement, there can be no question that communication tools
are socially and economically embedded. Traditionally, limiting commu-
nications has been justified by the potential negative impact its content
could have on the security of a nation. In reality, governments crack down
on communications because they fear the negative impact of watchdog-
journalism and untethered opposition on their own positions of power.
In Egypt, the thirty-year-old emergency law has been used to justify
many limitations on the content of expression, but during the January 25
Alexandra Dunn is a program development officer at the Cairo Institute for Human
Rights Studies and a social media researcher. She completed her master's thesis on the
political use of Facebook in Egypt, where she has been living since the beginning of
2010. She was present throughout the January-February 2011 uprising, during which
she closely followed the role of media and the media blackout. She is a research partner
in the Tahrir Data Initiative, aiming to empirically assess the role of media during the
uprising. The data set and accompanying research can be found at www. tahrirdata. info.

VOL.35:2 SUMMER 2011

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