[silk] bloody hell.

Udhay Shankar N udhay at pobox.com
Tue Nov 18 21:42:55 PST 2003

Suresh Ramasubramanian wrote [ at 07:23 AM 11/18/2003 ]:

>That's all I can say after reading this - I'm speechless.


BBC NEWS | Technology | Mobile users told to 'chase Bush'

Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 November, 2003, 14:20 GMT

Protesters angry about the "security bubble" around President George Bush
on his UK visit are being asked to use gadgets to be heard and seen.

The Chasing Bush campaign is asking people to "disrupt the PR" of the visit
by spoiling stage-managed photos.

They are being encouraged to send location reports and images by mobile to
be posted on the Chasing Bush site.

"We want to give people a chance to be a visible voice of dissatisfaction,"
said campaign organiser Tim Ireland.

Not smiling

Technologies like text messaging and weblogs have been successfully used in
the past to co-ordinate routes and meet-up points for mass protests.

But the gadgets are now being used more proactively to make protests more
visible and disrupt any potential stage-managing of the President's visit.

"We have been described as a second generation smart mob. We are
encouraging people to use camera phones and send us e-mails with photos,"
campaign co-organiser Richard Wild explained to BBC News Online.

"We are trying to spoil the PR, so we are not doing anything directly, but
encouraging people to protest by turning their backs in press photos so
they can't be used."

The campaign organisers have also asked people to go into protest
"exclusion zones" to send SMS updates and on-location reports about his
appearances, and events at protests.

"We want to show everyone in the world we are doing this and we using the
web channels to influence mainstream channels as much as possible," said Mr

All the messages and pictures will be posted on the website as soon as they
are received.

The site has been designed to be low bandwidth so it can be updated in real
time via appropriate mobile phones using GRPS or laptops from anywhere,
said Mr Wild.

Bush's 'bubble'

The massive security measures for the President's visit are unprecedented.
A huge #5m police operation has been mounted with 14,000 officers covering
the visit.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators are expected at an anti-war march on

Protests about Bush's visit began on Monday
The security measures have been put in place in response to fears about
public disorder, but also a heightened terrorist threat from al-Qaeda.

A ring of 700 of the President's own secret service agents and security
advisers will surround him in a mobile "bubble" amid fears of terror attacks.

Some newspapers and websites were reporting mobile phone signals could be
blocked for fear they could remote-control a bomb.

But Scotland Yard has denied reports that police were considering shutting
mobile phone masts during protests.

A spokesperson told BBC News Online they were "not prepared to discuss
matters of security".

Although it "would be extremely unusual to do that, and authority would
have to be cleared with all the appropriate regulators."

((Udhay Shankar N)) ((udhay @ pobox.com)) ((www.digeratus.com))

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