At the end of 2009, a social movement mobilised once again around an Iranian political crisis – from the streets of Iran’s cities spreading through networks of support to Europe, North America and beyond. In Toronto, where the Citizen Lab internet research and development centre is located, a dynamic group of Iranian students banded together with activists across the world, raising awareness and building support. Together they have formed an identity unique to the 21st century: a cyber enabled, planetary resistance community.
The role of technology in events such as these is often overstated and the Iranian case is no exception. The battle is about much more than the most recent social networking tool, no matter what label is assigned to this latest revolution. But it should not be underestimated either. Cyberspace is the domain through which the battle of ideas takes place today, and it is a heavily contested domain.
It is widely known that demonstrations can achi