The world is becoming different from what I knew it to be and a sense of history may give some perspectives. In 1989, after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism, countries that had practised socialism, authoritarianism, autocracies began self-organising into a global order — adopting free markets, free trade and democracy. Globalisation is one great force for this present world order but technology has been very pivotal also. After the collapse of communism, the radical breakthrough technology that spread information and undermined autocracies was the Fax Machine. That was the beginning of the information revolution. I’m always baffled when governments try to restrict, ban and block global technology services or propose legislative bills meant to stifle freedom.
When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, its next-door neighbour, Saudi Arabia was in dilemma. They wanted to ask the Americans to come and secure them but they feared the backlash the move will cause in the Islamic world. It became a Saudi-state secret. Government from time immemorial have always controlled information or at least try to. In the 1920s, if you wanted to do a coup, you go for the Presidential palace and the radio station because you want to control the source of power and the source of information. In the 1950s, you will go for the Presidential palace and the TV station. Today, how would a coup happen and how soon would the word get out? They tried to do it in Turkey in 2016 and Recep Erdogan, the President broadcasted from his iPhone and the coup was botched because we have gone from a uni-broadcast model — a one to many broadcast model.Read More »