Skip to Content
Uncategorized

"Get Out of Jail Free" Twit

Blog entry sets man free, showing power of Internet innovation–but threats loom, Zittrain says.

As the latest evidence that high-impact Internet technologies often spring from unlikely places, yesterday Jonathan Zittrain, a cofounder of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, cited the case of a Berkeley grad student who used the microblogging service Twitter to spring himself from an Egyptian jail. “It does not get much more inane than Twitter–and now that’s being Twittered,” Zittrain said today at a conference at the law school on the future of the Internet. “Let’s be able to report everything you are doing at every moment! Do you remember blogs? Blogs were so deep and substantive.” But on April 10, the brevity-centric service did big things for James Buck, a graduate student of journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. While photographing–and Twittering–a demonstration in Egypt, Buck was caught up in a police sweep. He was able to Twit out a single word: “Arrested.” His friends in the United States got the word–literally the word. Calls to lawyers and the State Department were made, and Buck was soon a free man. To Zittrain, this shows anew how an open and unfettered Internet and computing environment allows powerful new technologies to spring from unexpected corners–producing high-impact phenomena ranging from music file sharing to Wikipedia. He argues that an era of innovation may be threatened by security clampdowns and the proliferation of computing gadgets like TiVo and iPods that are difficult or impossible to program and leverage in new ways.

Deep Dive

Uncategorized

Our best illustrations of 2022

Our artists’ thought-provoking, playful creations bring our stories to life, often saying more with an image than words ever could.

How CRISPR is making farmed animals bigger, stronger, and healthier

These gene-edited fish, pigs, and other animals could soon be on the menu.

The Download: the Saudi sci-fi megacity, and sleeping babies’ brains

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology. These exclusive satellite images show Saudi Arabia’s sci-fi megacity is well underway In early 2021, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia announced The Line: a “civilizational revolution” that would house up…

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023

Every year, we pick the 10 technologies that matter the most right now. We look for advances that will have a big impact on our lives and break down why they matter.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.