Google Supports Revolts | Anonymous does too!

I am blogging today from the So. Cal. Linux Expo [SCALE9x]. I am promoting Anonymous, among other things to the Linux and Free Software communities. While I was here yesterday, someone attending the conference told me what Google did to support the popular uprisings in Iran a few years ago.

He said that at before that time there was basically nothing in the way of computer based Farsi translation but Google had a project in the lab which they rushed into production to support the struggle then rapidly developing in Iran.

"We feel that launching Persian is particularly important now, given ongoing events in Iran" said Google principal scientist Franz Och in a statement on Goolge's Official Blog.

After Wael Ghonim was released from the custody of Mubarak's thugs, he said he would like to return to work at Google if he was not fired. Outgoing Google CEO Eric Schmidt tweeted back "We're incredibly proud of you, @Ghonim, & of course will welcome you back when you're ready."

Just why founder Larry Page is now stepping in to replace Eric Schmidt as Google CEO is not clear but rumor has it that differences over Google's China policy played a big role. Schmidt opposed the decision by founders Page and Brin to pull out of China over government censorship.

When the revolution developed in Egypt, Google engineers worked over the first weekend after January 25th with Twitter to setup a Speech to Tweet service with 3 international phone numbers that helped Egyptians get the word out in spite of the Internet blockage set up by the Egyptian regime. They are doing the same thing now in Libya. They started that Speech-to-Tweet service shortly after the uprising began against Gaddfi in Libya. As before the service and the phone numbers have been constantly posted on Al Jazeera.

They have also supported a proxy service to help people in Libya get around Gaddfi's Internet shutdown at this critical time.

Apparently Google's Wael Ghonim had initialed a project which greatly improved Google's Arabic translation ability a few months before the current wave of protests in North Africa and the Middle East started in Tunisia. Google's Arabic translation service has played an important role in these uprisings and probably has saved more than a few lives.

On another front, Anonymous has just released Anonymous : Survival Guide for Citizens in a Revolution
Version 1.0

From the introduction:

This Guide is for civilians who feel they are about to be caught up in a violent uprising or revolution to overthrow the oppressive government of their country. Although a revolution in favor of the people is a joyful thing when seen from the outside, it can be a bloody mess for those inside it.

Most of all we suggest:

* Don't panic, stay cool headed.

* Take a break and rest if your body needs to relax, lack of sleep is a major weakening factor.

* Avoid consuming mind altering substances like alcohol and drugs. They will cloud your judgement and ability to think and act rationally. You are also arming the regime with propaganda that the crowd is made up of a bunch of intoxicated rioters. Don't allow your movement to be portrayed in an unfavourable light.

This guide will give you some basic ideas and tips for how you and your friends/neighbors/family can stay safe in the violent turmoil around you. It is not a ready-made recipe, but it contains general
survival tactics and strategies.