Editor’s Note: As globalized cloud technology advances further into our lives, it is expected that these same apps which make our lives easier and more networked will also be used to transform reality and overwrite history. Currently, western intelligence agencies and think tanks are working hard to acheive this very process in Syria – for the very same ends which they acheived in Libya. Google could play an incredibly powerful role in the outcome of these events we are witnessing. Some may view it as only a mere tool being used by regime change interests, yet Google could also be enabling naked populism, leading to general anarchy where the level of death and destruction which rained down on innocent Libyans before as a result’s of NATO bombs and western-backed rebels – will be rerun again on innocent Syrians… and beyond. What is Google’s position on this latest development? Will Google also someday be flying the Syrian opposition’s new flag on its homepage? We should not let them off the hook so easily.
February 15, 2012
… Anti-government activists in recent weeks have used a Google crowdsourcing program, Map Maker, to rename key streets, bridges and boulevards after their revolutionary heroes, according to opposition figures and the Syrian government. The idea, activists say, has been to expunge the vestiges of the Assad family’s 40-year rule and to commemorate protesters who have fallen over the course of an 11-month-old uprising.
“They have the right to be remembered by the Syrians,” said Rwadan Ziadeh, a representative of the Syrian National Council, an exile group. “They are making new history.”
On Google, names have changed over time as the maps are updated with user proposals, which are approved by other users as well as Google editors. The names on Google Maps are sometimes different from those on Google Earth. The overall result, however, has been a patchwork of Assad-era and revolutionary names, sometimes side by side.
The campaign started a couple of months ago on Facebook, said Rami Nakhle, another exile opposition figure, and it has quickly gained the Syrian government’s attention. On Monday, the country’s envoy to the United Nations, Bashar al-Jafaari, digressed from a speech before the General Assembly to accuse Google of participating in a foreign plot to meddle in Syria’s internal affairs and undermine its leader.