Serbian students and protesters call their revolt the Internet Revolution. For the first time, the Net is playing a crucial role in a popular uprising against an authoritarian regime.
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One of the women at the table nods in assent. Nina Milic (no relation to Novica Milic) goes by the username Kali. She radiates good humor and confidence – as if the revolution has already been won in some profound, private way. With long black hair and Elvis Costello glasses, Kali looks like a student; she is, however, a lawyer, in her mid-30s. After a year on Sezam Pro, she's become a devoted user, finding a new community and a form of virtual freedom. For Kali, it is as if the events on the streets, in physical space, were playing catch-up to the events behind the screen – that freedom of thought will inexorably lead to freedom from fear. She sees the Net as a bridge to the outside, a crucial link emboldening the protests by showing, once and for all, that the régime no longer has a monopoly on information, or on people's thoughts. "I think that without the Internet," she says, "not so many people would care about what is happening here."
What Bozic understands and the government does not is that the arithmetic of popular uprisings is no longer additive. It is not about 8 million versus 10,000 – it is about who those 10,000 know, and the power that comes with this knowledge. Where the Milosevic régime still sees things in terms of linear relations, the opposition has learned a lesson from the Eastern European revolutions of 1989 to 1991: what counts is leverage, and one tremendous source of leverage is information. How was it that a system with all the benefits of additive superiority – 30,000-plus nuclear warheads, the world's largest military alliance, and 30 percent of the world's population – just fell apart? One answer is the infectious role information played in bringing down the Soviet empire. In the mid-1980s, the liberalization of control over information begun by Gorbachev acted as a kind of disease, attacking the carefully crafted internal logic of the system, slowly at first – then very quickly. It was the spread of ideas during glasnost and perestroika that tipped people from passivity to activity – and out into the streets. What is happening in Belgrade now is an extension of this information-based tipping point.
At the table in the hallway, conversation turns to this question of the Net's role in the revolution. I can follow the conversation because most of the Sezamians here speak English, the lingua franca of the computer world. Miroslav Radosavljevic, known on Sezam Pro by the username Oldtimer, is a hacker of sorts who runs his own prepress publishing business using a few PCs. "In '91 we were not prepared," he says. "We thought we were stronger than we were, and we went too far too fast. Now we have the Net, and it makes a difference. We get more overseas reporting because of the Net, which stays Milosevic. This is why we call this the Internet Revolution. It has led to real support from people outside."
One landmark juts out from the crowd: a glowing plastic billboard, lit from the inside, showing a bald eagle flying over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The tag line, in Serbian, reads "Winston: Taste of Freedom." As I'm trying to decode this cacophony of symbols, a young man walks by, holding a circuitboard glued to a stick which he waves over his head. A few days earlier, the students had decided to name their revolution: the Internet Revolution. For now, this is my only encounter with anything resembling a computer in Serbia.
TheAmerican Revolution is not just another regular research topic,especially if the student is a United States citizen, and toprofessors of the United States who will be checking research papers,it is a very sensitive and sometimes a sentimental topic. Therefore,it must be very factual, and one should try their best to not takesides or put down their own opinions which might be biased in anysort or form. Lastly, for a clear understanding of the topic, itwould be helpful to visit historical libraries with actual books orspeak to history professors instead of relying solely on the internetfor facts.
Then came November 19, the day the protests began, and shortly after, students at the University of Belgrade opened a Web site promoting their cause. In a very real sense, these protests in Serbia are the first mature example of the Internet playing a role in a popular uprising against an authoritarian régime. Just as Vietnam first showed the impact television could have on a war, this struggle is the first large-scale conflict where the Internet is playing a significant role. The implications are enormously important for the future, and the events in Serbia are being closely watched by governments around the world – especially the Chinese government, which is concerned about the role an expanded Internet could play in that country. The student protests are producing data on whether expanded access to information is utterly inconsistent with authoritarian government, whether it's impossible to have both a modern information-based economy and a dictator, and whether, therefore, the Internet is innately predisposed to undermine such régimes. In Serbia, this assumption is being tested for the first time.
Lofty speculation about how the Internet would affect attempts to control media came slamming down to earth in Serbia. On December 3, the Net briefly captured center stage in Belgrade when the Milosevic régime took Radio B92 off the air. B92, then Belgrade's only radio station that wasn't under state control, had for two weeks been broadcasting updates on the growing protests in the streets. When Milosevic unplugged B92, the broadcasts were rerouted via the Net using RealAudio. The Voice of America and the BBC also picked up the dispatches, resending them to Serbia via shortwave. Two days later, Milosevic allowed B92 to broadcast again, giving the opposition an important symbolic victory, and inspiring the students to start calling their struggle "the Internet Revolution."
Events in the Yugoslavian capital have overshadowed the conference, which was hosted by the Einstein Forum in Potsdam, Germany and was first planned a year ago to explore how cyberspace is altering the political dynamic in Eastern Europe. Many of these nations – Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic – have spent most of their history under authoritarian rule, first under the rule of kings and then under communist régimes controlled by the Soviet Union. One hallmark of their histories – a trait they all share – was that information was always strictly controlled by the state. After the revolutions of 1989 to 1991, when the Soviet empire collapsed, these states entered a transitional phase supposedly leading to the creation of democratic systems and a loosening of state control over the media. The Data Conflicts conference was planned to explore how computer networks, especially the Internet, are influencing this transition toward democracy – perhaps supporting it, perhaps not. The question was left open.
The historical revolution began in the year 1775 when America was ready for change to become a sovereign state. The historical revolution has seen rise of many great topics which have been listed in books and in the internet. All these essays have been written to explain in detail about the great American Revolution in 1775 to future generations. The following are some of the great topics explaining the revolution.