Technology and Resistance: Digital Communications and New Coalitions around the World

By Ann De Vaney; Stephen Gance et al. | Go to book overview

Another important aspect of the power of fax during the Tiananmen Square and the Soviet Coup incidents is how fax bypassed censorship. Satellite transmission was cut off in China before the massacre began. Though no images of the bloody incident could be transmitted then, fax was still working. The Chinese government failed to control the power of this technology. The Soviet coup leaders, likewise, did not bother to shut off fax machines, email, computer bulletin boards, and cable television ( Belsie 1991). But, "you can't stop the flow of information by tanks" ( Berkowitz and Quittner 1991). As de Sola Pool ( 1990) pointed out, "International communication is often considered a mixed blessing by rulers. Usually they want technical progress. They want computers. They want satellites. They want efficiently working telephones. They want television. But at the same time they do not want the ideas that come with them" (101).


References

Belsie, L. 1991. "Technology thwarted coup leaders' success." The Christian Science Monitor, 26 August: 9.

Benjamin, D. 1986. "State of siege." With Tiananmen Square the eipicenter, a political quake convulses China. Time, 29 May:36- 45.

Benjamin, W. [ 1936] 1986. "The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction." In Video culture, edited by John G. Hanhardt. Layton, Utah: Peregrine Smith Books.

Berkowitz, H., and Quittner, J. 1991. "Media and message." Newsday, 22 August: 14, 16.

Bowker annual book trade almanac. 1994. 39th ed. New Providence, NJ: R.R. Bowker.

de Sola I. Pool 1983. Technologies of freedom. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

-----. Ed. 1977. The social impact of the telephone. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

-----. 1990. Technologies without boundaries: On telecommunications in a global age. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

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