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Syrian Protesters Roll Out New iPhone Apps

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the the-people's-app dept.

Communications 105

An anonymous reader writes "Protesters in Syria, dealing with a strict media blackout, have rolled out new iPhone and iPad apps to share news, stories, and even jokes. Amid a brutal crackdown, rebels are fighting back on their iPhones. The Arab Spring's newest weapon keeps the opposition informed—and the regime in check."

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Wait for the media (5, Insightful)

future assassin (639396) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079246)

praises of brave souls trying to bring democracy into their lives in 3,2,1 while at the same time making fun of the occupy protests in "free" countries.

Re:Wait for the media (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38079348)

praises of brave souls trying to bring democracy into their lives in 3,2,1 while at the same time making fun of the occupy protests in "free" countries.

Ha. Apple is probably going to revoke the apps for violating their TOS and yank them from the user's cell phones.

Re:Wait for the media (4, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079362)

Oh yeah. Because a crackdown that killed 3,500 people (according to TFA) is clearly the same as throwing away a few tents.

You realize that the OWS movement will never be taken seriously by reasonable people if hyperbole like this seem to be the common view of the movement, right? Because it totally won't. And shouldn't. Not saying it is. What I'm saying is your comments, and comments like this (which I see all the time on /.) only hurt yourself and the movement you (implicitly seem to) support.

Re:Wait for the media (2, Interesting)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079476)

So you're saying it's okay to destroy property, but not lives. Funny -- the bill of rights seems to disagree with that. Police throwing 5,000 donated books into a dumpster is not a visage of democracy.

Re:Wait for the media (1)

fsckmnky (2505008) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079704)

The books were "abandoned" by the protesters voluntarily, as they were "evicted" from someone elses land.

Research abandoned property law. Has nothing to do with the bill of rights.

Re:Wait for the media (4, Informative)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079976)

No, they weren't. If you ask anyone actually evicted by the police, the police did allow them to keep their property. They weren't abandoned, though maybe they were "abandoned". At this point, the law uses "words" that don't even have their common-sense "meaning" anymore, so maybe there is some legal status of "abandoned" that can be forced upon you even when you are not really abandoning your property.

But by any common-sense interpretation of the English language, they were not abandoned. It was not voluntary. You are full of shit. And the bill of rights has a little something to do with every law in existence, for laws must take it into consideration in order to be legal. (Though there is always that awkward point after a law is passed, but before it is struck down. . .)

Re:Wait for the media (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38083326)

They tried to squat on private property (it was a public park, but NOT publicly owned property), for about 2 months. And youre complaining that they lost their tents? Theyre lucky that they werent all arrested for trespassing.

The first amendment does NOT give you the right to squat on property.

Re:Wait for the media (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085316)

Actually, the park was converted from public to private land by a legal agreement requiring them to open the park to the public 24 hours. In other words, they legally agreed that it would be treated publicly, despite private ownership.

Also, you are trying to equate summary punishment by police with some sort of justice. That's not how the justice system works.

So in 3 sentences, you managed to lie and equate summary justice with actual justice. Nice to know where you stand.

Re:Wait for the media (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38086892)

Please stop acting like a passive aggressive jerk to everyone posting on this thread. Like many of the occupy protesters, you need to learn respect.

Re:Wait for the media (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38092638)

Yeah... nothing like a boot to the head to tech him respect, eh Nazi? You watch too much Fox.

Re:Wait for the media (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38091410)

Public use does not mean "campground". Seriously, do you really think its OK to go to Farragut Square in DC and set up a camp and a bonfire? What about camping out on the National Mall, does that sound "OK" or "Not OK" to you?

Re:Wait for the media (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#38091440)

Yea... Those are public lands. People should be able to peacefully assemble. The opposite of peace is... not tents. I'm sorry that congress made laws about HOW we can peacefully assemble -- in direct violation of an amendment saying it does not have that power. But I'm doubly sorry that people like you use that as an example of how things should be. Public land should be for the public to use how it wants. Basic democratic principle. Guess it's lost on you.

Say I want to go to a park for 4 hours, and take a nap without getting sunburn. Am I allow to bring a tent, massa? What about 6 hours? Should my rights be curtailed at a specific number of hours? 7? 4? 8? 3? Are tents simply prohibited in public spaces? I seem to recall a lot of homeless people sleeping in tents on public property. It's something that can be allowed. It's just chosen not to, to give a convenient excuse. Kind of like how they pulled over the Wikileaks truck for not having its headlights on, then arrested the occupants.

Re:Wait for the media (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#38091456)

Also, the National Mall has allowed many groups (but not individuals) to camp there. So you're wrong not just in principle, but in your example as well. Double wrong.

Re:Wait for the media (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#38091482)

In fact, with the National Mall -- since they have allowed some groups to camp there; to deny other groups based on their message would be a denial of 1st amendment rights, as government is not allowed to show message-based favoritism when doling out taxpayer. For example, when DC tried to not allow pro-marijuana messages on their subway trains, they lost a lawsuit. Of course, such unconstitutional favoritism is the whole point of the protester-permit process.

The Bill of Rights speaks of due process ... (5, Interesting)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079890)

So you're saying it's okay to destroy property, but not lives. Funny -- the bill of rights seems to disagree with that.

The Bill of Rights speaks of due process. Setting up a camp in a public park against regulations, being *notified* to remove your property, being *warned* that property left in the park will be thrown out, might be considered a constitutionally acceptable due process. Requiring a permit to camp may also be considered a constitutionally acceptable practice.

To be fair everyone was given notice that the park had to be cleared for cleanup. If a person chooses to leave their stuff there despite such announcements and warning there is an argument that the property was abandoned in a legal sense. It is a public park where camping is not allowed, is there not an inherent risk in setting up a tent? Personally I suspect may of those tents were left there in the hope they would get tossed, they were more valuable as PR tools than shelter. The cold weather is going to shut this thing down real soon and the tents will not be needed much longer.

Police throwing 5,000 donated books into a dumpster is not a visage of democracy.

The Mayor's office is reporting that Sanitation workers, not police, cleaned up things and that they handled books separately from trash. Books are being held at a city garage and may be picked up.

Re:The Bill of Rights speaks of due process ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38081020)

Except it's a private park. Good work though.

Re:The Bill of Rights speaks of due process ... (2)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081236)

Except it's a private park. Good work though.

The relevant laws apply to both public and private parks open to the public. The owners, Brookfield, requested that the city enforce the law.

The Mayor: "We have been in constant contact with Brookfield and yesterday they requested that the City assist it in enforcing the no sleeping and camping rules in the park."
The Owners: "In our view, these risks were unacceptable and it would have been irresponsible to not request that the City take action,"
http://www.observer.com/term/brookfield-properties/ [observer.com]

Re:The Bill of Rights speaks of due process ... (2)

T.E.D. (34228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38086138)

The Mayor's office is reporting that Sanitation workers, not police, cleaned up things and that they handled books separately from trash. Books are being held at a city garage and may be picked up.

Yes, that was their story.

OWS's story is that they went down to this supposed holding area and were presented with 25 boxes of books. That was it. I don't know how many books were in those 25 boxes, but it's a pretty good bet it was only a very tiny percentage of 5,000.

The mayor gave himself a major black-eye over this, and he'd kinda like to stay mayor after the next election. He has every incentive in the world to paint this action in the most positive light possible, perhaps even fudge the facts a little. Why on earth would you take the statements of such a person at face-value without even looking into the facts?

Re:The Bill of Rights speaks of due process ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#38088620)

Exaggeration and the spinning of events is likely to be coming from both sides. It was well known that the removal and cleanup was coming. Like some tents, I can't help but suspect that some books were left in the camp with the hope that they would get tossed, manufacturing a PR incident.

As for the Mayor. I can easily envision him instructing workers to set books aside and I can equally envision sanitation workers ignoring the mayor and intentionally tossing books in with the trash. Both to reduce the amount of work they would need to do and to "voice" their disapproval of what was happening in the park.

Re:Wait for the media (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38084508)

So you're saying it's okay to destroy property,

No, I'm not. But the people in the park had no problem destroying both private and public property.

Funny -- the bill of rights seems to disagree with that

Huh? Where? How exactly do you figure?

Police throwing 5,000 donated books into a dumpster is not a visage of democracy.

It sure can. It only takes 51% of the vote to pass a law which requires police to throw ALL books into a dumpster.

And just FYI, the cops didn't destroy those books, they took them to a storage facility. They just used dumpsters because that's what they had available to them at the time. If you want your book back, just go file a claim like you would for any lost property.

Re:Wait for the media (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#38086736)

Police throwing 5,000 donated books into a dumpster is not a visage of democracy.

It sure can. It only takes 51% of the vote to pass a law which requires police to throw ALL books into a dumpster.

Fuck me you're a retard. You have allowed your right wing hatred of democracy to over-power your right wing love of law and order, so you end up shooting yourself in the bollocks with a shotgun. Good work.

Re:Wait for the media (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38079624)

Do people have to die before you listen to them?

Re:Wait for the media (1)

Lotana (842533) | more than 2 years ago | (#38082688)

Have a look at history. While strictly pacifist movements have gotten results (Ghandi), there are much greater number of examples where lives have to be lost before the demands are taken seriously.

Self-immolation seems to be rather effective way to turn heads at the moment. Thich Quang Duc's example is probably one of the most famous ones. It has been said that Arab Spring has gotten into swing only after Mohamed Bouazizi's immolation which was followed by quite a number of copycats in other regions.

So in the end I would answer: Most likely yes, people do have to die before any significant change is to happen.

All that being said, I would be very surprised to see any kind of protests of that kind of determination from the Occupy movement. I haven't even heard of any cases of hunger strike (Something which doesn't need that much of determination since it can be stopped before damage results) incidents from the protesters.

Re:Wait for the media (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#38086800)

So in the end I would answer: Most likely yes, people do have to die before any significant change is to happen.

Let's just hope it's some of the fascist state goons, sorry law enforcement officers, rather than protesters.

Once the police start beating young women with batons and pepper-spraying grandmothers, they have crossed a line. I don't care if the protesters were trespassing on the fucking President's front lawn, vague "property rights" (it's a publicly accessible park) do not trump people's rights to protest peacefully.

Except in dictatorships.

Re:Wait for the media (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38083344)

These comparisons between OWS and Syria are frankly sickening. People over there are dying, and you want to compare that to the tragedy of only having a modest house, a comfortable suburban lifestyle, and a short stint of unemployment? You know what the people in syria would give to have a fraction of what you have?

Heres a shocker for you: 80% of the people in this country ARE the 5%, when compared to the rest of the world. But no, your cause is totally on the same level as people fighting for their lives.

Seriously, your plight is so bad that you need to shift stories like this away from dying protesters to YOUR situation? Its some awful combination of ego, selfishness, and lack of compassion.

Re:Wait for the media (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#38086824)

The people in the Arab spring wanted a fair share of their own countries' wealth and freedom, they were and are dying for democracy, not just a bigger car.

Re:Wait for the media (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38087952)

THe people in Arab spring were under brutal dictatorships, and one man lit himself on fire because of massive, widespread government corruption that meant he could not make a living-- government thugs would take his vendor cart, his goods, etc.

You really want to try to draw a comparison between that and some trespassing protesters getting their illegally pitched tents confiscated because they refused to buy the permits (which basically every other protesting group had NO issue getting)?

You either lack perspective, or youre really just incredibly selfish.

Re:Wait for the media (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38084652)

Do people have to die before you listen to them?

No, but it helps if they have something to say.

So far what I've heard is "Somebody else needs to come up with some idea which will somehow solve a problem I can't actually define for you. But I'm Mad As Hell about it, and I'm not taking it any More! So I'll go shit in the bushes in the city Park. That will show them we mean Business!"

Re:Wait for the media (3, Informative)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079656)

I consider myself to be a reasonable person, and I take it very seriously. Though there's really no way to convince you that I'm reasonable, just a there's no way to convince you that OWS is serious. There will always be a segment of the population that is threatened by the idea that the system might be able to change.

Re:Wait for the media (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38084130)

>just a there's no way to convince you that OWS is serious

There would be if it was true.

Re:Wait for the media (2, Insightful)

pclminion (145572) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079856)

Oh yeah. Because a crackdown that killed 3,500 people (according to TFA) is clearly the same as throwing away a few tents.

The manner in which a government responds to a protest has no bearing on the importance of what is being protested. Whether protestors die or not is a function of the government, not the protestors.

Suppose somebody does die in OWS at some point. Will the two movements suddenly be equivalent in your mind? Are you going to perform an arithmetic comparison of the number of deaths? What's a blown-off limb worth, vs. as human life?

And despite Americans' peculiar insistence on the infinite value of human life, there are things worse than death. We may not yet be at the point, which is all the more reason to try to change the situation now instead of waiting.

Re:Wait for the media (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38080610)

And despite Americans' peculiar insistence on the infinite value of human life [...]

wtf? remind me, which members of the OECD still practice the death penalty?

Re:Wait for the media (0)

Amouth (879122) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081028)

Re:Wait for the media (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38082350)

wikipedia is your friend [wikipedia.org]

death penalty abolished for all crimes: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom

death penalty abolished for crimes but under exceptional/special circumstances: Chile, Israel

death penalty abolished in practice: Korea

still practice death penalty: Japan, United States

Re:Wait for the media (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38083030)

death penalty abolished for all crimes: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom

PIIGS \subseteq CountriesWithoutDeathPenalty
CountriesWithDeathPenalty \cap CurrentEconomicPowerHouses \neq \emptyset :'(

So being civilized does not mean you will do well economically.

My conclusion? The finance industry indiscriminately empower uncivilized countries.

Re:Wait for the media (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38083350)

The manner in which a government responds to a protest has no bearing on the importance of what is being protested

I think the deaths might be part of what theyre protesting; care to stack that up against complaints of "Im not as rich as that guy"?

Re:Wait for the media (2)

fredmosby (545378) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080408)

Yeah. As long as the US government isn't the most oppressive government in the world Americans have no right to complain about government oppression.

Re:Wait for the media (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081594)

No, but I would ask that the magnitude of two oppressions is different by several orders. Also, the reason for the protests is radically different. Long story short, comparing the two is... difficult.

Complain and protest all you want, I'd even encourage it (I think OWS has some valid points). Just make sure you don't exaggerate the situation too much.

Re:Wait for the media (2)

Kyusaku Natsume (1098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38083048)

We have had 50k deaths and at least 10k disappeared in Mexico in the last 5 years in a phony drug war by a government that came from a stolen election but, since the killing is made on USA's behalf no many people there will raise their voice.

Re:Wait for the media (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#38086674)

Suppressing democratic rights is suppressing democratic rights, arsewipe.

By your relativistic logic, the events in Syria are insignificant when compared to something like the Second World War (tens of millions dead instead of a few thousand) so Bashar al-Assad's basically OK?

Protesters or campers? (4, Interesting)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079640)

praises of brave souls trying to bring democracy into their lives in 3,2,1 while at the same time making fun of the occupy protests in "free" countries.

Very few people are making fun of "occupy" protesters. Its "occupy" campers that are being made fun of to some degree, even by supporters of the "occupy" protesters and the occupy movement in general.

Camping in a public park despite regulations to the contrary is something quite separate and different from showing up on wall street carrying signs and speaking up about abusive practices. Get a room? Stay with a friend who lives in the city? Stay with a supporter who lives in the city? Camp in a *real* campsite outside the city and take a bus into the city? People I've spoken with who attended big protests in the 60s did these sort of things. Is there a lack or organization and planning today compared to the 60s, or is there a lack of supporters offering their couch or living room floor?

Re:Protesters or campers? (2)

Fned (43219) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080190)

People I've spoken with who attended big protests in the 60s did these sort of things.

People you've spoken with who attended big protests in the 60s weren't going through Great Depression 2: Foreclosure Boogaloo.

Do the math. There are altogether fewer couches. People big-hearted enough to open their homes to protesters likely already have their homeless friends on the couch...

Re:Protesters or campers? (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080376)

People I've spoken with who attended big protests in the 60s did these sort of things.

People you've spoken with who attended big protests in the 60s weren't going through Great Depression 2: Foreclosure Boogaloo. Do the math. There are altogether fewer couches. People big-hearted enough to open their homes to protesters likely already have their homeless friends on the couch...

Are you sure that most of the regrettably foreclosed upon are homeless rather than renting a smaller less expensive place? Those couches may still exist, just sitting in a smaller rented property rather than a larger owned property.

From what I heard from the 60s protesters they often stayed in a crappy little rented apartment, not some large home. I think the comparison to the 60s is still appropriate.

Re:Protesters or campers? (2)

eriks (31863) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080582)

From what I heard from the 60s protesters they often stayed in a crappy little rented apartment, not some large home. I think the comparison to the 60s is still appropriate.

Yes, the comparison to the 60s is certainly appropriate, since as others have said, the 60s was a dress rehearsal for what's happening now. Though keep in mind that in the 60s there were still (lots) of poor people living in Manhattan. Nowadays, there really isn't a "crappy little apartment" to rent, anywhere in Manhattan. Even Harlem has been largely "gentrified".

My thought when OWS first started in Zucotti Park was that they would eventually be forced out, and would need to look for other places to stay and/or protest in shifts. However, I think the "camping" is actually a good strategy, for many reasons, foremost probably being the 24/7 presence accelerated coverage of the protest. The protesters are going to be vilified no matter what they do. They will need to find more places to stay, particularly for the harshest parts of the winter. There are MANY precedents for american citizens "camping out" for their rights. Of the top of my head, the biggest one I can think of was the WW1 vets in Washington DC in the 30s. Tent city for miles... not that there's a direct comparison with OWS there, but there are interesting historical parallels.

Re:Protesters or campers? (2)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081114)

However, I think the "camping" is actually a good strategy, for many reasons, foremost probably being the 24/7 presence accelerated coverage of the protest.

The problem is that I think the coverage may be counterproductive. As the 99% watch on TV they feel less in common with these people. Basically the movement "leaders" are playing into the hands of their opponents who want to mischaracterize the protesters as largely the neo-hippie "professional protesters" who travel from one WTO/G20/etc event to another. The more the TV cameras focus on campers rather than protesters with signs on wall street the more distorted the perception of the movement gets.

There are MANY precedents for american citizens "camping out" for their rights. Of the top of my head, the biggest one I can think of was the WW1 vets in Washington DC in the 30s. Tent city for miles...

You might want to follow that precedent a little further. The veterans were successfully mischaracterized as a mob and the President sent General Douglas MacArthur down there with federal troops to remove and disperse the "bonus army".

Re:Protesters or campers? (1)

eriks (31863) | more than 2 years ago | (#38082362)

It may be a negative in some respects, but there *are* a lot of people losing their homes, mostly due to the activities of a few very rich men. So symbolically it is appropriate... It probably can't be sustained long term, at least in it's current form. In the 60s, many "communes" formed. Most of them were not successful, though a few survive to this day. I think that idea could do better now than it did then. Not in the "flower power" sense, but in the practical living and survival sense, in an increasingly monetized existence.

If the President were to roll tanks on the "occupy" protests, as was done to the Vets, that would probably create a bit of a stir. There are probably almost as many OWS protesters are there were people in the Bonus Army, if not more, although they're not all in one place, yet.

Re:Protesters or campers? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#38086918)

Camping in a public park despite regulations to the contrary is something quite separate

How pathetic has your country become when people sleeping in tents appals your nice middle class sensibilities?

Re:Wait for the media (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38083320)

Because the Occupy folks havent made clear what they want, and are generally trying to instigate violence with a reluctant system?

Trying to compare the two scenarios is in such bad taste its not even funny. People are dying over there trying to unseat a brutal government, whereas over here theyre making a massive nuisance of themselves vandalizing parks, instigating violence, and illegally camping on public property. Yea, thats real noble.

Re:Wait for the media (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#38087006)

People are dying over there trying to unseat a brutal government, whereas over here theyre making a massive nuisance of themselves vandalizing parks, instigating violence, and illegally camping on public property. Yea, thats real noble.

You do not see the heavy irony here. It was the people demonstrating en masse by occupying public squares that finished off the Tunisian and Egyptian fascist governments, and it was those governments who tried to bulldoze camps and characterized the protestors as vandals.

Re:Wait for the media (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38088148)

Heres the difference, the police HERE have basically ignored the Occupy folks for two months, even though they were illegally camping in whats supposed to be a public park; and the protesters THERE didnt care because they wanted to dismantle the government due to its brutality and oppression.

So lets be clear and open here: Is the dismantling of the US government the goal of the Occupy folks? We might as well get that out into the open.

Re:Wait for the media (1)

sysrammer (446839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38089720)

So lets be clear and open here: Is the dismantling of the US government the goal of the Occupy folks? We might as well get that out into the open.

Well, sure, some of them. Anarchists are drawn to this kind of thing. What percentage I don't know, somewhere in the 1% range I would imagine.

As others have noted, you ask 10 occupiers what it's all about, & you get 10 answers. Ask 100, and 1 may say "yes, we don't need govt".

App Store Policy (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38079252)

That is until Apple takes their app down for no apparent reason.

Re:App Store Policy (2, Insightful)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079318)

Depending on how you want to define the term [WMD], the free and unfiltered exchange of ideas and information could well be described in such a fashion.

I mention this, because of some of the verbage in the appstore agreement.

When the pen is mightier than the sword, for those wishing to uphold the status quo, both must be controlled. The former moreso than the latter.

Given apple's philosophy about openness, (or lack thereof), I wouldn't doubt that they would remove the app from the appstore for "inciting violence" or some other absurd infraction.

Re:App Store Policy (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079328)

That is until Apple takes their app down for no apparent reason.

Or the Syrian government shuts down cellular communication or network communication among smart phones.

Apple wouldn't dare get into bed with the Syrian government, as the look of it would do immense harm to the company image.

Axis of Evil (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080952)

Wait, wait,

Isn't Syria one of those evil countries who American companies aren't meant to trade with or ship technology to?

How do they get Mac's and app developer licenses if there's an embargo?

Re:Axis of Evil (1)

shagie (1803508) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081240)

Syria has been under trade embargo since October 29th, 1991 as specified in Amendment to ITAR 126.1 [state.gov] . The appears to apply to the Arms Export Control and include Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and North Korea. The key thing is the 'arms export'. This appears to cover defense articles and defense services - not regular commercial items. Strong encryption is classified as a munition. If the Syrian app store doesn't use strong encryption algorithms for its drm or the sdk, one would presume that developer licenses and app store would be allowed.

cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38079274)

Knowledge is power.
It will be interesting to see how many posters here will back Al-assad claiming that he is the rightful ruler of Syria.

Re:cool (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079358)

Knowledge is power.

It will be interesting to see how many posters here will back Al-assad claiming that he is the rightful ruler of Syria.

No ruler has a greater right to life than any of the people he governs. He's past the tipping point already. Start killing people and cooking up preposterous storys to back up your claim and you might as well leave now, rather than gunned down by a rebel soldier after escaping from your flamin motorcade.

Re:cool (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079726)

Be sure to run such arguments through the Abraham Lincoln test. Quite a few Americans were killed in defense of his "regime."

Re:cool (4, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080074)

Be sure to run such arguments through the Abraham Lincoln test. Quite a few Americans were killed in defense of his "regime."

Not in the same ballpark, not in the same league, not even in the same sport.

Syrian "Arab Spring" revolt isn't about secession and landholders right to keep slaves, it's about people tired of a leader who, though elected, they have no real say in his election. His father was leader for 29 years. Don' t think that fits Abe or the conferacy even tangentially.

Re:cool (2)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080656)

I agree, but the rationale in your second post is much better than in the first. It's easy to get lazy and assume any leader who draws protest or revolt is illegitimate and must go. I suppose the real test is whether a leader will allow fair elections, and abide by them. Of course there are many shades of gray in election fraud.

Re:cool (0, Flamebait)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080978)

The idea of "rightful" is silly because "rights" are subjective.

Assad has many SUPPORTERS for various reasons, very much including opposition to Islamic fundamentalism.

I support Assad. I support anyone willing to kill radical Muslims and I could care less about the technicality of their humanity since their superstition nullifies any reason to be concerned with that.

Ideally, the Baathists and Jihadists will bleed each other out in many years of violence which will keep them distracted from annoying anyone of value to modern civilization. Syria has plenty of people on BOTH sides and if they want to play internal hardball, that's their business. I'll break out the popcorn.

Re:cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38081940)

I support Assad. I support anyone willing to kill radical Muslims and I could care less about the technicality of their humanity since their superstition nullifies any reason to be concerned with that

So you some sort of radical atheist asshole?

Or just an asshole?

Either way, your comment is reprehensible crap. Fuck off

Re:cool (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38083352)

and I could care less about the technicality of their humanity since their superstition nullifies any reason to be concerned with that.

You know, remind me never to vote for you for a position of power. Attitudes like that are how brutal dictatorships and genocidal campaigns begin.

Re:cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38090786)

I fully agree with this, and disagree with the Flamebait moderation. I don't exactly support Assad, because he is only about killing radical Sunni Muslims, while his regime enables Hizbullah to strengthen its grip over Lebanon and launch rocket attacks on Israel. The civil war in Syria is an Alien vs Predator scenario, and popcorn is exactly the snack one should enjoy while watching this. The last thing I want is NATO troops trying to break up this fight, which is why I'm glad that Russia & China have vetoed any Libya-like actions by NATO in Syria.

Yuo Fa1l It (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38079434)

expulsion 0f IPF

Steve Jobs was part Syrian (3, Interesting)

arcite (661011) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079578)

Would be rather fitting if the iPhone helped along a revolution for freedom.

Re:Steve Jobs was part Syrian (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079688)

Would be rather fitting if the iPhone helped along a revolution for freedom.

Which would somehow make all the Apple marketing people puff out their chests in so much pride you'd have to walk through Cupertino sideways.

That kind of PR you can't buy -- just quietly do what you can for them and let the media go on tooting your horn for you.

Perhaps Microsoft or Google could take a page from that book -- Twitter was part of the Green Revolt in Iran, which certainly enhanced their exposure -- maybe Microsoft or Google could foment a rebellion somewhere... Gad. What a cynic I'm becoming.

Re:Steve Jobs was part Syrian (3, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080020)

It would also be quite ironic given the nature of the platform.

Re:Steve Jobs was part Syrian (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38090824)

That's a pure technicality, since he was adopted out by Jandali, who only surfaced and claimed paternity in order to draw media attention. Steve was lucky not to have been raised by that loser. Nor did he ever have any connections w/ Syria.

Why IPhone (3, Insightful)

horza (87255) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079622)

So the dissident first has to jailbreak out of his cell, only to have to jailbreak his cell? Why would they want to rely on an app that can be remote wiped by Apple at a moments notice? Not only are the Android phones more free, the faster processors will speed up encryption/decryption. Poor choice of phone.

Phillip.

Re:Why IPhone (3, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079974)

So the dissident first has to jailbreak out of his cell, only to have to jailbreak his cell? Why would they want to rely on an app that can be remote wiped by Apple at a moments notice? Not only are the Android phones more free, the faster processors will speed up encryption/decryption. Poor choice of phone.

Phillip.

Wait. You think Apple would do that? You don't work at Apple. If they did Apple would be seen as a tool of bloodthirsty tyrants. I expect if the Syrian government even suggested Apple drop these apps you'd find an epidemic of "deaf ears" in Cupertino.

Apple is all about saluting the Rebel in you, after all.

Re:Why IPhone (1)

horza (87255) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080726)

Ultra-capitalist Apple left behind their rebel years a long time ago. They have more important things to do like stifling competition with law suits. All it would take is for a couple of guys at wikileaks to use the app and it would be yanked in a heartbeat. Cupertino have deaf ears to anything except what will maximise profits. Of course they would invent some transgression in the ToS of the app to make it appear their hands were tied and they would release a press statement soundly condemning bloodthirsty tyrants.

Phillip.

Re:Why IPhone (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38080114)

If you check the stats you'll find that it is Google who have used their ability to remotely wipe apps from Android phones on a number of occasions, not Apple. I'm sure at least some of those would have been with good reason, in response to yet more malware masquerading as a legitimate Android app, but you carry on believing whatever Google want you to believe.

Re:Why IPhone (1)

aiken_d (127097) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080504)

Um. Google *can* and does remotely delete apps from phones:
http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2011/03/google-using-remote-kill-switch-to-swat-android-malware-apps.ars [arstechnica.com]

And given that Android phones can report what apps you use to carriers, that's probably a really bad idea in a place like Syria.
http://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2011/11/16/verizon_and_sprint_using_rootkit_to_collect_data_from_android_phones [afterdawn.com]

Re:Why IPhone (0)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080836)

Um. Google *can* and does remotely delete apps from phones:

Um, only through the Google market. Install an application from an APK and they cant do anything. Not like you can install an application package file on an Iphone without Apple's Express permission.

Hey, dont let the facts in the way of a good baseless rant.

Talk about baseless! (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080944)

Not like you can install an application package file on an Iphone without Apple's Express permission.

Millions of jail breakers do just that every day.

Watch how far you chuck those stones there, the walls are mighty close.

I see you had no response about pre-installed root kits on many Android that the protestors would not have the technical ability to remove and the government could compel Syrian carriers to cough up data for...

Re:Why IPhone (1)

aiken_d (127097) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081118)

Dude, you're comparing manually install via APK to apps downloaded from Apple's App Store? Are you confused or dishonest?

Tell me again how the Carrier IQ problem is baseless? Ignore inconvenient facts much?

+1 for self-righteous, -2 for being wrong.

Re:Why IPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38082074)

Poor choice of phone.

Not if everyone has an iPhone.

Re:Why IPhone (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38083536)

Because this is Apple's iProduct feel good story for 17th November 2011.

Yesterdays was probably about a boy trapped down a well and Facebooking out on his iPhone for survival. Tommorrows will be someone using their iPad to get out of a forest they got lost in, the day after it'll be a miracle iPhone being dropped off a boat and find by it's owner washed up on shore using find my iPhone, after that we're probably due another one about one being dropped from a plane or cliff and not breaking again, it wont be long until the next leaked or stolen iDevice recovered by ninja Apple agents story either probably. I should stop now, before I give them anymore ideas.

If people haven't figured out how it continues to be iPhones that end up in these miraculous scenarios every week despite that being statistically unrealistic due to the fact they now only own 15% of the market according to Gartner's latest report then there's not much hope.

These regular iDevice feel good stories are part of Apple's impressive marketing campaign, one of the things they've always been excellent at is keeping their products in the public mindset by keeping them in the news, on the radio. Part of this is about highlighting genuine uses of the device and publicising that (even if competitors devices are being used for the same purpose) as if it's an Apple only thing as is almost certainly the case here, part of it is simply making shit up. Some of the stories in the past have just been outright impossible to verify- they've involved people who have gone unnamed from very unspecific locations, with no pictures or other evidence the scenario even ever happened - there's no evidence the story was even real in some cases, but still the media blindly publish without even realising they're doing little more than giving a firm free marketing. More fool them I guess.

This is ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38080132)

The Syrian "opposition" has an army that is capable to mount an assault on the largest arms deposit in the country, their "resistance" has ipads and iphones in large enough numbers to warrant apps? Come on. I participated first hand in one of the regime changes in Eastern Europe, and have witnessed, also first hand, two democratic transformations and one crackdown in Asia since 1988. In no case there was such access to weaponry or Western technologies for the people, who opposed the regimes, and in one case the regime change was government-initiated, i.e. the opposition wasn't particularly pressed except politically.

Call me what you want, but after seeing what happened in Libya, it is very hard to accept that the events in Syria are spontaneous "rebellion" against the regime. This shit is paid by the people who'll order the air strikes in a few weeks or months.

It is a sad development, because the West is setting the stage for the next round of "liberations" in 20-30 years, when a few non-democratic countries will have enough power to engage in the same behavior and on the basis of a different ideology.

Oh, you're just being cynical... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38080562)

Clearly there must be thousands of thousands of iPhones and iPads in a country with average per capita GDP of $2,958.
Millions even!

Re:Oh, you're just being cynical... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38080930)

Clearly, there are enough to warrant paying apple for the SDK and the developers for the development time. Excuse me if I don't believe it a miracle. Of course, iphone apps come to nothing when compared to the cost of the weaponry that is needed to arm a hit on the largest Syrian arms depot, or the manpower to man the said weaponry. As I said, I did participate in one regime change event. I was driven off in a bus and beaten twice. Believe me, the "rebels" don't have the heavy arms.

Be Informed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38080748)

In the spirit of having an informed discussion, it's important to know that while the property occupied in NYC may be privately owned, legally it is public property. In order to gain a zoning variance, the propery owner allowed the city to attach a lien specifying that access to the park be provided to all members of the public at all times, 24 hours a day, forever. So saying things like, "It's private property, they're tresspassing," is utterly false. The people do not own the land, but they have full legal rights to be there. They can stand, they can sit, they can sleep. They can bring books, musical instruments, and tents.

What app, exactly? (1)

Hemi Rodner (570284) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081630)

I didn't see any application link or name in that article, and a google search leads only to slashdot and that article.

Did they mean a website, maybe?

PS: I hope the new ruling party of Syria will be nicer to Israelis than ASSad.

Re:What app, exactly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38082208)

My tax dollars paid for this. I want it.

After what the police did over the past few days, I might need it.

Re:What app, exactly? (2)

davesag (140186) | more than 2 years ago | (#38082976)

I was wondering that too. What's the app called? Is it too much to ask for a link to the App store from the original story? Vapourware perhaps?

Unfortunately Fundementalists are (1)

Phoinix (666047) | more than 2 years ago | (#38082720)

still the driving force in that revolution. These apps will also be used by fundamentalists in that movement.

For the record I despise the Assad dictatorship ( who wouldn't unless you are the dictator :P ), and I wish the Syrian people a true democracy and not another dictatorship or another Iran-like Theocracy (a sunni one). Most of the people running the show in the Syrian revolution have fundamentalist and pro Al-Qaedah positions. This was seen in many sectarian and extremest speeches by Mosk Imams in Daraa and other cities and is also seen in some of the pro-revolution demonstrators. Even though the Arab media moronically tries to hide these facts and images (picture below shows Bin-Laden and Hamas founder), foreign governments have people on the ground and know these facts. Rarely seen image of a demonstration in Tripoli-Lebanon by the so called Future movement (Harriri group who are for some reason still supported by the US gov):
http://i40.tinypic.com/j8i07b.jpg [tinypic.com]
The PDF file(s) of the corresponding article (article in Arabic):
http://ifile.it/h379mtq [ifile.it]
http://ifile.it/vu3seit [ifile.it]

It is unfortunate that in-spite of all the wars (and civil wars) in that region no one accepts the principle of separation of religion and state except dictatorship regimes!

These are just few facts worth knowing.

Re:Unfortunately Fundementalists are (2)

Kyusaku Natsume (1098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38083090)

That's because the USA and their allied dictators saw any moderate leftist social democrat as sons of Fidel Castro and Stalin born in hell, and the ones not allied to the USA applied the same methods; any natural leader except for the religious leaders was killed by the secret services of arab dictators, so they don't have union leaders, members of professional associations or a free press that could be pool of new moderate leaders.

Civil war - Sunni vs Alawite (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38083102)

Problem is that no Muslim country is a true democracy - by which I mean that not only do all people have the basic rights, but also, that outside of government, the majority communities don't harass the minorities, the way Copts are being persecuted in Egypt, other Chrisitans are being persecuted in Indonesia, Pakistan & Malaysia, and even in new Iraq, Assyrian Christians are being persecuted to the point that most have fled to... Syria.

The easy access to weapons is symptomatic of another problem - that in Syria, it's not a mere uprising against the Assads, but rather, an actual civil war between Sunnis and Alawites (who are arguably a Shia sect - see below). The revolt in Syria is Sunni, led by that country's Muslim Brotherhood (same party as in Egypt) and backed by Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar. The way Baath parties worked - in Iraq & Syria - for which they were sometimes thought to be secular - was that they would form a coalition against the majority Muslim sect of everyone else (except the Kurds). In Iraq, that coalition was the Sunni Arabs, Sunni Turks as well as Christians against that country's Shia majority. In Syria, the situation is flipped, and the Baath coalition there is Alawite led, and includes Syrian Christians (who have more rights there than in any Muslim country), Shia, Druze and anyone else who is not Sunni Arab. This actually is the main reason why Hafez al Assad supported Iran during its war against Iraq in the 80s, and the US in 1991. When any Muslim country calls itself an Islamic republic, what that means is that the majority sect in that country gets to implement its own interpretation of shariah law. In Iraq, that means Shia inplementations, while in countries like Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and Afghanistan, it means Sunni implementations. Muslim fanatics from other sects are excluded from such set-ups.

However, calling this regime as one that 'accepts the principle of separation of religion and state' is misunderstanding it. The Syrian regime is closely tied to Iran, and is the main supply line to Hizbullah in Lebanon, with which it has a symbiotic relationship - during this uprising, Hizbullah has been actively fighting alongside Syrian security forces, because if Sunnis come to power in Syria, Hizbullah's hegemony over Sunnis in Lebanon would be brought to an end. The toleration of Christians is something done as a matter of expediency, rather than principle - they want to shore up their numbers against the Sunnis - just like Saddam did in Iraq against the Shia. This is not a Soviet style regime that cracks down on all religion - it's a minority sect that knows that seizing power is the only way to survive. After all, they, being Muslims, know that Muslims do not co-exist with them, and indeed, Alawites are looked at as heretical by other Muslims due to their deification of Virgin Mary, although one Iranian based Shia ayatollah once declared them as Shia. In other words, if the Assad regime falls, what will follow would be a situation like Iraq, actually worse for Alawites, since in Iraq, Sunnis are still a solid 20% of the population, whereas in Syria, Alawites are less than 5%.

In Libya, the Gadaffi regime, odious as it was, has now been replaced by a new leadership that, regardless of what else it does, has promised Libya an Islamic theocracy. In Tunisia, the Islamic Enahdha party has one, and its Prime Minister-elect has fantasies of becoming the next Caliph. In Egypt, the only organized party there is the Muslim Brotherhood, which will take over come the next elections, while the army and civilian crackdown on Copts continues. Bahrein too had a popular uprising - it's 70% Shia, and that was put down by the Saudis with tacit US approval, and the Hanafa monarchy continues there. Just like the Saudis prevented Shia from taking over in Bahrein, and even opposed the US taking down Saddam because they knew that the result of a democracy would be what it is now - Shia taking over and getting orders from Iran, similarly they are also actively backing the Sunni rebellion in Syria, hoping to disrupt the Shia crescent starting from Iran and going right up to Lebanon. Make no mistake - these aren't some tech savvy secular Arabs protesting - they are Sunnis out to grab power, given the support signals they're seeing from Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

To expect Syria to become a democracy should Assad fall - particularly when its opposition is backed by the likes of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as well as a re-Islamizing Turkey, is a pipedream. But before that happens, what is likely to play out is an all out war between a Shia coalition - Hizbullah, Alawites, Iran and even Iraq

Re:Civil war - Sunni vs Alawite (1)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38084650)

Problem is that no Muslim country is a true democracy

Turkey is one.

If by "Muslim country" you mean a country whose citizens are mostly Muslim.

Re:Civil war - Sunni vs Alawite (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#38087258)

Problem is that no Muslim country is a true democracy

Turkey is one.

If by "Muslim country" you mean a country whose citizens are mostly Muslim.

Stop spoiling his fun.

Anyway, Britain is also just about a democracy, despite over 75% of the population being Muslim Asylum Seekers (Copyright The Daily Mail).

Re:Civil war - Sunni vs Alawite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38090966)

Check out how Turkey treats its Kurdish and Armenian minorities. Under Ataturk, they were partly democratic, but with the military having an iron grip to ensure that the country didn't Islamize. However, those controls have become loose the last few years, and under Erdogan, they have been becoming more Islamic than they previously were - although not as quickly overnight as Libya or Tunisia. Ironically, Turkey's best hopes for democracy was while the military prevented this from happening, but now that Islam has made a comeback in Turkey via the democratic process, the rights of non Turks and non Muslims will be the standard rights under dhimmitude. Part of the blame here goes to the EU for forcing Turkey to loosen the army's grip on this if they wanted to become a part of it, because the Turks are more similar to Arabs or Iranians than they are to Germans and Italians. And I'm talking more about religion here than race, which Turkey only shares with the people of some of the ex-Soviet republics, like Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan & Kyrgyzstan.

You got the definition of 'Muslim country' right - that's exactly what I meant.

Re:Civil war - Sunni vs Alawite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38091556)

To expect Syria to become a democracy should Assad fall - particularly when its opposition is backed by the likes of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as well as a re-Islamizing Turkey, is a pipedream. But before that happens, what is likely to play out is an all out war between a Shia coalition - Hizbullah, Alawites, Iran and even Iraq against a Sunni coalition consisting of the Muslim Brotherhood, al Qaeda, Hamas, Fatah, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and likely to grow to include Sunni fighters from other countries, such as Pakistan, Egypt, Libya, et al. (I didn't notice that the sentence was incomplete - I'm the same AC as the parent)

Re:Unfortunately Fundementalists are (1)

Kyusaku Natsume (1098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38083108)

That's because the USA and their allied dictators saw any moderate leftist social democrat as sons of Fidel Castro and Stalin born in hell, and the ones not allied to the USA applied the same methods; any natural leader except for the religious leaders was killed by the secret services of arab dictators, so they don't have union leaders, members of professional associations or a free press that could be a pool of new moderate leaders.

If I have made any more mistakes in my writing, corrections are welcome.

Re:Unfortunately Fundementalists are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38083224)

Well, neither Saddam nor Assad had any compunctions about killing religious leaders - Sadr City in Baghdad is named after the father of Moqtada al Sadr, who was killed on Saddam's orders. In the 1980s, Assad's regime too cracked down on Sunnis in Hama, and massacred more than thousands of them. These countries don't have trade unions - they have thinly disguised slavery, and whatever press they have is one that would either be owned by the regime, or backed by other countries, like Saudi Arabia. No, reason that the revolt against the rulers in all these countries is Islamic is that the Arabs are very Islamo-centric, and don't seem to have an identity outside Islam.

Also, it wouldn't make sense for the US to support the regime in Syria, which was fully pro-Soviet during the 80s and, along with Libya, a sponsor of terrorism. And to their credit, they have - at least so far - not taken sides in this conflict, even though the State Department is in bed with Turkey and Saudi Arabia over backing the Sunni rebels. The US did make a mistake in supporting the Libyan rebels - many of who have al Qaeda links - against Gadaffi. The correct approach would have been to let the civil war in Libya continue, but just without any intervention from NATO.

Rebels? Wealthy rebels, you mean (2)

MastaBaba (530286) | more than 2 years ago | (#38082842)

At a GDP per capita of just over 5000 USD, Syrians owning iPhones is the equivalent of Americans owning a 5000 USD device and using that to bring the government down. Or requires the American equivalent of earning 500.000 per year to make the cost of the iPhone for these Syrians comparable to their income. Like, the masses, right? Clearly, not quite. Syrians owning iPhones are a tiny and rich minority. Claiming these people are rebels is like saying the 1% are, really, rebels.

How dum you have to be to believe this? (1)

eminencja (1368047) | more than 2 years ago | (#38083056)

> rebels are fighting back on their iPhones

Translated: the government have created an app so that they can better track and manipulate the citizens

Or maybe this is saying that they are throwing iPhones instead of stones?

Syria app in English? (1)

bobm3 (899166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38088454)

Is there an English version of the Syria app? Many in the USA support their search for freedom
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