Right now we have some great examples of how powerful an informed populace can be and how unnerving it can become for a repressive government. Social media networking is becoming a major game changer.
Take a look at what is going on in the Middle East right now. Their governments are struggling with the dilemma of how to allow their citizens access to the technology we are studying in this class without losing control of the information flow in and out of the country. Take a look at this article from the NY Daily News describing the most recent events in the region. In countries where the government limits the freedom of individuals the ability to communicate access to social media creates real problems.
This article from the Inquirer describes how the Iranian government blocked access to Facebook in May 2009 prior to their June elections. The movement of information threatened the official desired outcome of the elections. We all should continue to pay close attention to the events in the region both for the sake of staying informed and maybe more importantly to see how our their politicians and our own react.