Brief Interpretation of New Communications since Email


New Communication Technology, power and control or freedom and democratization?

Do new communication technology, provide states and corporations with new instruments of power and control, or does it promote freedom and democratisation?

New communication technologies are evolving globally at an increasing rate each year. It is challenging both government and citizens but has developed into a tool of communication for both. For the purpose of this essay examples from China, United States and Egypt will be used to explore their relationship to new communications according to their approach to freedom and communication. New Communications will date back to technology developed and used since the early 2000’s which includes social media, mobile phones, search engines, internet and the media.
This essay will argue that new communication technology provides states and corporations with instruments of power and control due to access to resources unavailable to general public. Using a method similar to the modern day trojan horse, states and corporations are able to manipulate and control the delivery of information to citizens. However, in cases such as the Arab Spring, the development and strength of communication amongst Egypt’s citizens enabled the united citizen goal to be reached. However, similar to an arms race, technology proves the ability of governments to suppress attempts to deliver freedom and democracy.
This essay will firstly argue that China hinders the ability for the state’s citizens to access autonomous ideas in order to prevent political opposition by censoring information accessed via search engines. Following, this essay will use the US as an example of a democratic state using new technologies to monitor citizen activities but also censorship state media. Continuing, corporate ability to manipulate and produce propaganda will argue the media’s ability to influence state elections. However, Wikileaks will be used to exemplify the opportunities for transparency using new communications to breed freedom and democracy. The instance of the Arab Spring will argue the ability for freedom but also for control as a result of new communication technology.

New technology has the ability to mold and create the opinions and concepts of the masses rendering inaccessibility to the opportunity to think autonomously. Authoritarian governments such as China, use technology to control and suppress the knowledge of their citizens. Their technology both censor’s and monitor’s citizen activities on the internet in order to exercise control (Dann & Haddow 2008). Google, Microsoft and Yahoo all assist Chinese censors in blocking selected information (Dann & Haddow 2008), an example of this is Tiananmen square. When searching for Tiananmen Square, images of 1989 massacre has been replaced with scenic landscape (Dann & Haddow 2008).

Left: Chinese search results for images of Tiananmen Square. Right: United Kingdom search results for images of Tiananmen Square.

(c)From, source unknown.

Furthermore, in place of citizens interest in political events, the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) encourage the search of mundane information such as celebrity news in order to suppress any tendencies to search for political information (Dann & Haddow 2008). To stop any political strain between the government and citizens, the CCP allows the reporting of minor political issues in order to appear free and transparent however, in reality the CCP use this as a distraction from larger issues (Lorentzen, P. 2013). Freedom of press in China is one of the worst in the world ranking 173rd out of 179 states on the Reporters Without Borders list (World Press Freedom Index, 2014) and since 2012, 32 journalists have been jailed (Lorentzen, P. 2013). Therefore, by appearing to allow freedom of information the reality is a gross level of propaganda committed to control citizen mentality. China’s use of censoring search engines as an example of new technology constrains freedom of information and control’s citizen activity.
New technology is used by government’s to monitor citizen activity and to manipulate the news for political gain. The United States exemplifies how although it may be a democratic state, it’s use of propaganda and citizen surveillance exercises power and control over the state. A US surveillance program ran by the NSA called PRISM, highlights the US government’s level of access to private information corrupting the concept of negative freedom (Greenwall & MasAskill 2013).

Edward Snowden talks about Prism and bringing back the internet.

Under US law introduced by the Bush Administration, the government is able to access information with companies Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Skype and countless others without a warrant (Greenwall & MasAskill 2013). The Prism program brought to light the extent to which citizen privacy is being violated and freedom being impeached in order for the US government to monitor citizen activity (Greenwall & MasAskill 2013).Furthermore, the US government has used new communication technology to to gain support and in turn legitimize going to war in Iraq in 2003 (Kumar, D 2006). This was due to media support for the government by returning support for the media industry (Kumar, D 2006). For example, CNN began filtering journalists reports to create “script approval” while News Corp went international publicising support for the war (Kumar, D 2006). Therefore, the Bush Administration exercised it’s ability to infiltrate a source of new communication, popular mass media, with propaganda to gain citizen support.
Corporations also use a new communication tool: media, to exercise power and control with industry leader Rupert Murdoch playing god to democratic elections. During the war on Iraq in 2003, Murdoch used the support for the war for private commercial advantage, enabling News Corp to grow into the Middle Eastern Market (Kull, S 2003, p. 575). Murdoch’s Fox news supported Bush and used the case of Iraq holding weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to gain high ratings. By manipulating information to create a popular news story and distributing it globally, the public were misinformed and directed to Murdoch’s cause (Kumar, D 2006). Australia’s recent election highlights the ability for media to influence an election. With the highest media concentration in the world, Murdoch’s Australian media empire lead a successful propaganda campaign against the then Australian government (Manne, R 2013). In Australia, reports found that 73% of journalists in 2004, admitted to reporting in bias towards their publications owners political and business ethics (Young 2011 p. 233). Therefore, media as a form of new communication has the opportunity to manipulate, influence and arguably control the heart and minds of entire state populations.

Rupert Murdoch, 2012 © Jessica Rinaldi / Reuters

Rupert Murdoch, 2012 © Jessica Rinaldi / Reuters
The Arab Spring highlighted the ability mobile phones have as a new technology to enable freedom and democracy however, the state developed their own new technology to block mobile communications. Egypts success using the power of mobile phone to connect to social media and develop a united front, stemmed from it being one of the largest mobile and internet using populations in the Arab world in 2011 (Eaton, T 2013 p. 21). The Muslim Brotherhood communicated using mobile phones, however the government dominant power enabled them to cut off communication by disconnecting citizens from the global information infrastructure (Howard & Hussein 2013, p. 70). Although tech savvy members of the Muslim Brotherhood continued to find ways to communicate to the rest of the world using satellite phones, the ability the state had to cut power exemplifies that government’s access to resources have the ability to outweigh citizens attempts (Howard & Hussein 2013, p. 23). However, Egypt’s success did not parallel to other Arab countries outcomes due to more efficient means of control by authoritarian governments. The initial uprising in Egypt was observed by neighbouring Arab governments who “developed counterinsurgency strategies allowing for them to surveil, mislead, and entrap protesters” using the same new communications used by citizens (Howard & Hussein 2013, p. 70). Egypt’s success highlights the ability social media and new technology have to alleviate those suppressed by dictatorship. However, the states that followed in Egypt’s footpath exemplify the access to more resources and power resulting in gross suppression of a citizen’s efforts for democracy.
New communication technology has allowed citizens to disclose “Classified” information. This challenges corporations use of media to influence society and governments (Fenster, M 2012). However, Wikileaks demonstrates that through the power of information that democracy is accessible. It is the the first transparent source of data, surveilling the government and exposing selective information to the public for their own consideration (Wikileaks 2011).


An example of this is the unveiling of sensitive information regarding the war in Iraq where US war crimes were uncovered resulting in the US government being held to account by the public (Fenster, M 2012). Therefore, Wikileaks is promoting democratization and challenging democratic and authoritarian governments by subverting the control of information (McNair, B 2012). Censorship in states such as China and the US are challenged due to new technologies ability to create a platform for communication.

It is evident that that since 2000 new communication technology is being used by ‘the state’ and corporations as a tool of control. Situations in Egypt exemplify the ability for government to create methods of counterinsurgency in response to citizens efforts to communicate. China’s censoring of information via search engines and the US and Murdochs ability to shape the content of the news demonstrates state and corporations advantage- evidently due to access to resources and power. Did freedom and democracy exist before new communication technology?


Dann, G & Haddow, N 2007, ‘Just doing business or doing just business: Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! And the business of censoring China’s internet’, Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 79, no. 3, pp. 219-234, viewed 16th September 2014 via Springer Link.

Eaton, T 2013, ‘The role of social media in the Arab Spring: Internet activism and the Egyptians’, Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture, vol. 9, no. 2, pp 3-23, viewed 12th September 2014 via Westminster.

Fenster, M 2012, ‘Disclosure’s effects: WikiLeaks and transparency’, Iowa Law Review, viewed on 18th September via Gale Group.

Greenwald, G & MaskAskill 2013, ‘NSA Prism program taps in to user data of Apple, Google and other’, 7 June, viewed on 18th September 2014, via The Guardian.

Howard, P & Hussain, M 2013, ‘Democracy’s Fourth Wave?: Digital Media and the Arab Spring’, Oxford Scholarship Online, viewed 12th September 2014, via University Press Scholarship Online.

Kull, S, Ramsay, C & Lewis, E 2003, ‘Misperceptions, the media, and the Iraq war’, Political Science Quarterly, vol. 118, no. 4, pp. 596- 598.

Kumar, D 2006, ‘Media, war and propaganda: Strategies of Information Management During the 2003 Iraq War’ Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 48- 69.

Lorentzen, P 2013, ‘China’s Strategic Censorship’, American Journal of Political Science, vol. 58, no. 2, pp. 402-414, viewed 16th September 2014 via Wiley Online Library.

Manne, R 2013, ‘Why Rupert Murdoch can’t be stopped’, The Monthly, no.95, viewed 15th September 2014, via The Monthly.

McNair, B 2012, ‘WikiLeaks, journalism and the consequences of Chaos’, Media International Australia incorporating Culture and Policy, view 17th September 2014 via Gale Group.

Wikileaks, About: What is Wikileaks? 2011, Viewed 17th September 2014.

World Press Freedom Index 2014, Reporters without borders, Viewed 16th September 2014.

Young, S 2011, How Australia decides: election reporting and the media, Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne.

Mind map


Censorship in Australia

The Australian Government plans to censor the internet includes a focus on online bullying under the act S474.17 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 and the safety of children from issues such as child pornography. However this does appear as a guise to censor what we access across the board. They have introduced what they call e-Safety to enact this surveillance to “protect” us all. However it also gives them the opportunity to access anything we access therefore privacy does not exist. 

Wolf, A. (2014, Jan 31). Censorship in the name of protecting children. The Drum, ABC. Retrieved from:


NBN benefits

The benefits of NBN as reported by the official website includes being fast, reliable and affordable. Also, according to the official website, it is yet to reach my area in Currumbin. 


Representative of my local area

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 2.05.34 PM


Jann last spoke on the 5th of June in state parliament regarding the budget under the Newman government. 


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Week 3 Oui Oui


Which of Stephen Stockwell’s books are in the Griffith library? Give full citations.

The following is in the Gold Coast library.

Stockwell, Stephen 2005, Title political campaign strategy: doing democracy in the 21st century, Australian Scholarship Publishing, Melbourne.

Cite three academic books that might provide useful material for an essay about Jean Luc Godard’s Alphaville. On which campuses do they reside?


Morrey, Douglas 2005, Jean-Luc Godard/ Douglas Morrey, Manchester University Press, Manchester.

– Book available at the Southbank campus.


Ellul, Jacques 1964, The technological society, Knopf, New York.

– Book available at the Logan and Nathan campus.

Lievrouw, Leah & Livingstone, Sonia (eds) 2006, Handbook of new media : social shaping and social consequences of ICTs, Sage, London

– Book available at Gold Coast campus.


What is a book that will assist you to find out about possible research methods to explore social media? Full citation.

Brown, John, Davies, Paul & Warren, Paul (eds) 2008, ICT futures : delivering pervasive, real-time and secure services, Wiley, Chichester.


Familiarise yourself with the databases available through Griffith University’s databases and find the answers to the questions below.
What is the latest medical thinking about internet addiction? What database did you use? Full citation.

The latest medical thinking about internet addiction can be found in psychology journal article



This article utilises a car study to unravel the implication of internet addiction and delves into the new markets of internet users.

Young, K. S. 1996. Psychology of computer use: XL. Addictive use of the Internet: a case that breaks the stereotype. Psychological reports, 79(3), 899-902.


What are IT engineers thinking about surveillance cameras? Identify a theme you could write an essay about and cite three papers that would be useful.

When it come to surveillance cameras, IT engineers common theme of discussion is social implications of CCTV.


Lee, L., Romano, R., & Stein, G. (2000). Introduction to the special section on video surveillance. IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 22(8), 745.

Surette, R. (2005). The thinking eye: Pros and cons of second generation CCTV surveillance systems. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, 28(1), 152-173.


Staples, W. G. (2013). Everyday surveillance: Vigilance and visibility in postmodern life. Rowman & Littlefield.

Communication as a form of freedom or a tool of Control

Behind the Great Firewall of China

In the theme of the previous post, the world wide issue of freedom in relation to access to the web is becoming more apparent. Censoring “sensitive” information is popular in countries all over the world. But what defines “sensitive” transcends world wide.  Pakistan is a recent example of censoring information following the condemnation of teenagers who created a video to Pharrell Williams ‘Happy’. Then there is China who censors what can and can not be googled. But Michael Anti is defying China’s control of censorship by using the tool of blogging to act out his freedom of expression.
This gets one thinking however whether new communications is a modern day form of freedom and expression or is it a tool of power used by the states… or is it both and if so which is more powerful?
This Ted talk is certainly a wake up call to how lucky I am to be able to sit here without a hint of fear of persecution from my own government simply for expressing my rightful views. 

Ted Global: Behind the Great Firewall of China, description of China’s censorship, viewed 6th August 2014.

Week 2 Facebook, friend or foe?

I have always been aware that what I access via the net is being recorded to a certain extent however, I have never been too convinced that it would one day come back to bite me. I don’t expect to ever be a government official nor stalked and extorted. But through further study,  learning that Google and/or Facebook create a profile of the user in order for marketers to market profile specific content,  it can be a little invasive.

I did further research in my own time only to stumble upon an article written in 2011! I had no idea it had been going on for so long and that I have only in recent months become aware of it. I am not sure about the current situation but according to Joel Stein, two fifths of a cent is the price  payed by advertisers for our personal information collated using tracking devices like cookies. So no matter where you are in the world they will too will know.
So, If I know that this is the case then why do I use Facebook? “To stay connected to friends overseas,” is my usual reply but now I rarely use it for that. If anything it has become a piece of comfort and a material of identity which is pathetic I know but I’ll keep on keeping on. One area that may come back to bite me would be the political shares I make frequently regarding the current government and issues world wide that I realise my friends in a bubble are not aware of.

But besides the privacy issues we face from market miners problems found in areas such as China are becoming more relevant in our own homes as discussed by blogger Michael Anti at a Ted X talk.

Basically, the world wide issue of freedom in relation to access to the web is becoming more apparent. Censoring “sensitive” information is popular in countries all over the world. But what defines “sensitive” transcends world wide.  Pakistan is a recent example of censoring information following the condemnation of teenagers who created a video to Pharrell Williams ‘Happy’. Then there is China who censors what can and can not be googled. But Michael Anti is defying China’s control of censorship by using the tool of blogging to act out his freedom of expression.
This gets one thinking however whether new communications is a modern day form of freedom and expression or is it a tool of power used by the states… or is it both and if so which is more powerful?
This Ted talk is certainly a wake up call to how lucky I am to be able to sit here without a hint of fear of persecution from my own government simply for expressing my rightful views.


Anti, M. (2012, June) Michael Anti: Behind the Great Firewall of China,

[Video file} Retrieved from


Stein, J (2011, March 10). Data Mining: How companies now know everything about you. Time. Received August 6, 2014, from,9171,2058205-6,00.html


s2942070 INTRO WK 1

At the end of last semester I smack bang and no ‘faffing’ about took the initiatives to seek the answers I needed. Thanks to Griffiths career assistance resources I made the switch from Government and International Relations, to Communications with my major still PENDING.

A bit about me is that I recently moved from Byron to Currumbin this year. I have to say that I am yearning to get back down there and put up with the transit. Another snippet is that I put surfing before anything or anyone else which is a bit of a curse and affects every aspect of my life… including having my work completed in time or my attendance to events and classes.

I hope that through learning each required part of this course I will get closer to reaching a decision of what exactly I want to do. The previous degree highlighted my interest in communications which I identified when in came to selecting the topics in essays. Every single piece of assessment where we had a choice of topics I chose to focus on communication with particular reference to the big ‘M’ (Murdoch). It was an article which focused on the political concept of power that I truly vested my interest in the matrix of the media. “Why Rupert Murchoch Can’t Be Stopped” in the Monthly highlights issues in media and communications of the reporting of one man’s opinion to the masses and in turn resulting in breeding and implanting certain values and opinions.

McKnight, D. (2013). Murdoch and his influence on Australian Political Life. The Conversation. Retrieved from: