T heC onsul A New Publication from the International Affairs Association of the University of Pennsylvania
The Penn Community
How the Changing Face of Technology will Shape- and Possibly Destroyour World
Iâ€™m very happy to indroduce the the second issue of this volumeof the Consul. The theme of this issue is Technology. Technology is ubiqutious in the world today, and for years the world has had to make huge shifts as technology improves at faster and faster rates. This gives us, as ctizens, users, and creators, little time to reflect on the way we use technology. However, in the past months, the world has seen the world finally begin to define the terms on which we use technology. Be it through the most massive online protest in history, or the interest the world has taken over the places our gadgets are made. It seems we have reached a unique point in the last decade. Right now , across the world, people are making an effort to determine the future of technology, and stop letting technology determine our future. The Consul is proud to be able to document and reflect on this unique time. Happy Reading!
Kevin Shapiro Editor-in-Chief firstname.lastname@example.org
T he C onsul
iFactory: an Ethical Perspective Page 4
World Affairs Attack of the Drones Asian Arms Race Bootleg your Copy of SOPA, Today!
Page 6 Page 8 Page 12
Pushing the Boundaries of Human Conflict Page 12 Pushing the Boundaries of Internet Expression Page 15 Redrawing the Map
Editor-In-Chief Director of Writing
Kevin Shapiro Shubhi Nigam
Consul Writing Staff Michael Luo Akshay Subramanian Jason Littman Wing Cheung Karl Sjulsen Angela Huang Michael Baresich Jason Kong Henry Chang Dan Benny Layout Editors Jason Littman Wing Cheung Jing Ran Caroline White Business Staff Alyssa Maharani Savar Sareen
Economy Assembling the Future
Arts Mass Sporting Events Cultural Sell-Out in the Middle East Music in the Middle East
Page 22 Page 23 Page 26
iFactory: An Ethical Perspective by Karl Sjulsen Apple turned over $13 billion in profit last quarter, just short of the quarter record of $14.8 billion, thanks largely to the success of iPhone and iPad sales. And the success of iPhone and iPad sales is directly driven by the sheer productive capacity of its main Chinese supplier, Foxconn. But as of late, Apple has come under considerable fire for not extending its promises concerning fair labor practices outside of the United States. Reports of poor and unfair labor conditions began to surface several years ago. Allegedly, Foxconn employees, all 1.2 million of them, work excessively long hours, in sub-par conditions, performing menial tasks for too little pay. Even more shocking is the fact that about 25 employees have died, either by suicide or factory explosions, since 2007. These issues raise two questions. First, how has Apple responded? And second, on a more macro level, how should the developed world respond to such ethical situations in the developing one? In light of the problems plaguing Foxconn factories in China, Apple has instituted a series of audits, regulations, and support services to alleviate the core issues. Apple has gone from performing less than 50 audits in 2007 to over 200 audits last year alone. They also inspected 396 facilities throughout China, in one of the largest scale inspection programs in the industry. Apple’s first target area was suicide prevention. In efforts to reduce both the
stress and potential for suicides Foxconn has introduced “a 24-hour phone counseling service.” Apple, working in tandem with Foxconn, has commissioned its own team of “suicide prevention experts…[to] recommend strategies for supporting workers’ mental health in the future.” These measures were suggested and instituted promptly despite the fact that the Foxconn suicide rate is lower than the Chinese average. Their second target area was, and still is, improved factory ventilation requirements to prevent any more aluminum dust explosions. Unfortunately there is no viable evidence, beyond Apple’s own statements, to demonstrate the success or failure of these more stringent requirements. However, there haven’t been any explosions since their implementation. In fact, the two explosions that have occurred at Foxconn plants have killed a total of four people. In two relatively recent and comparable incidents at factories in Indiana and Georgia a total of 15 people died. Though this may not be the most workable comparison, it reveals how a lack of context can skew perceptions. Apple has also “raised wages by up to 25%, in the second major salary hike in less than two years, “in response to claims that workers do not receive adequate compensation. Finally, Apple and Foxconn have opened their doors to third party inspections by both the Fair Labor Association (FLA) and the news media. ABC’s Nightline aired an exclusive inside look at a Foxconn factory. But the report, trumpeted as an ·4·
“exposé”, struggled to substantiate past criticism and may have even bolstered both Apple and Foxconn’s public image. In the context of China as a whole, Apple’s response to the incident has been relatively progressive. While Apple failed to thoroughly address all the issues with its suppliers, it has outperformed its predecessors both ethically and practically. Nike in the early 1990’s faced criticism for unfair labor practices in every single one of its factories abroad. They were guilty of a variety of infringements ranging from underage labor to safety concerns to excessive working hours. While Nike was generally successful in countering many of the claims brought against them, it took a large human rights movement to inspire that change. After initially ignoring claims made against it, Nike confronted the issue and began implementing reforms only in the early 2000’s. In fact it was only in 2004 that Nike released a full list of all its factories and suppliers. Gap also faced a barrage of similar criticism concerning child labor practices in the developing world, starting in Supplier Responsibility 1 9 9 5 . ProgressApple Reports; New York Times reporting
Since then there have been another five child labor incidents that attest to the failure of Gap to competently address the issue. In 2004, Gap issued its first “Social Responsibility Report” nearly a decade after the first allegations were made.
Apple’s not the only company with factory problems Several other multinationals such as Walmart and Disney have followed the same pattern. Apple, on the other hand, not only immediately acknowledged the criticism levied against Foxconn but also began implementing audits as early as 2007. Earlier this year they released their full list of suppliers; Nike by comparison, took around a decade to release their list. Van Heerden, the CEO of the Fair Labor Association (FLA), recently said that Foxconn factories in the Shenzhen province are “tranquil…compared to a garment factory.” Some may argue that Apple better understands the effects of reputational risk or that they have learned from the mistakes of Nike and Gap. However, that shouldn’t detract from the fact that Apple handled the Foxconn scandal more competently than its predecessors handled their respective scandals. Apple’s control of the situation, at least relative to its predecessors, reveals a slow but steady evolution of business practices in developing countries, like China. First and foremost, Apple refused to ignore reports of poor working conditions in Foxconn factories. This allowed them to sanction audits and begin implementing more stringent regulations sooner. While it is too soon to gauge the success of these new regulations, the unprecedented size and speed of Apple’s response, alone, represents an evolution of business practices in developing countries. That isn’t to say that Apple represents the pinnacle of business ethics in developing countries; in fact, both Apple and Foxconn are a long way away from the ultimate ideal. Foxconn factories are still fraught with issues, and the FLA has even predicted “significant announcements in the near future,” regarding perpetuating infractions. But both Apple and
Foxconn are considerably closer to that pinnacle than Nike or Gap were in the years following their respective sweatshop scandals. We must also understand that the ethical ideal of many developing countries, China included, may differ from modern day western conceptions of that same ideal. It is not only overly ambitious to impose western standards on developing economies, but it is also insensitive to assume they need our help. China, like other developing countries, needs to cultivate its own ethical code in accordance with its own growing moral consciousness. Applied to our case, it is neither in the interest of China in the long run, nor Apple, in the short run, for Apple to impose western standards on Foxconn. According to Stephan Rothlin, General Secretary of the Center for International Business Ethics (CIBE), “the Chinese do not want paternalism from the West.” Instead he argues that the Chinese should “develop their own codes [of ethics]. Then the managers can identify themselves with these codes.” We cannot expect a country to conform to ideals that require a moral consciousness to understand, without giving them the time to develop that consciousness. We can, however, help them develop economically through free-market forces and the tried-and-true notions of comparative advantage. Economic development is not only a more straightforward endeavor but it will also precipitate the evolution of that moral consciousness. Rothlin touches on this point by noting that “[The Chinese] want to be global players, and they realize that in order to become a real global power, they have to eliminate corrupt practices.” They were only able to reach that stage of development due to the influx of western industry. China appears to be entering a new phase in its development that will be marked by “Higher salaries, basic benefits, better working conditions and less physically taxing jobs,” reinforcing theories of development. As of late, Chinese cities have seen labor shortages due to wages that are too low or conditions that are too poor. Even in the face of wage increases ranging from 10 to 30%, many factories in the Shenzhen and Guangzhou province are still short on labor. The “Shandong Province, [for example,] is missing a full third of its
migrant work force.” Economists explain China’s labor woes as an approach towards the “Lewis Turning Point — the stage at which the rural surplus labor pool effectively runs dry and wages begin to rapidly increase.” If this is in fact the case it means that China will begin to look a lot more like a modernized western country and less like the China of today. A decrease in the labor force, and the accompanying increase in the cost of production, means that China will no longer be the target of outsourcing by the United States and other developed countries. The marked progress of China substantiates the assumptions of economists, like Nobel prize laureate Paul Krugman, who argue that sweatshops and substandard factories are not only necessary for development but even precipitate its fruition. In the grand scheme of development, outsourcing to suppliers like Foxconn unequivocally facilitates development. That is to say that the “subpar” practices of suppliers like Foxconn should not even be considered a “necessary evil” because it’s only an evil by Western standards. Multinationals operating in developing countries must not be judged from the viewpoint of a developed country with well-formed business practices. Multinationals should rather be judged by independent assessments in the context of each country that it operates in. For example, Apple’s operations in China should be judged solely in the context of China and its past. And in that context, both Apple and Foxconn are far from “evil”. Compared to past cases, like Nike or Gap, Foxconn is progressive. Compared to agricultural jobs in China, Foxconn is a step-up. The process of development is just that, a process; it’s an evolution that occurs over time, not overnight. It’s unfair to hold developing countries to standards that are beyond their current capacity. It’s also presumptuous to assume that less developed countries are unable to develop ethics and morals of their own. And finally, it’s naïve to expect them to fully conform to an imposition of “our” ideals. i) Set by Exxon in 2008 ii) The Nightline exposé articulates this point by directly comparing life at a Foxconn factory to life in a rural village. They further substan tiate it by showing thousands of eager, pro spective employees
Cover photo courtesy of Thomas Lee
World Wars: Attack of the Drones by Jason Littman Remember watching movies like Terminator and iRobot, and imagining what the world would be like in 100 years? Did you think that autonomous, self-learning robots or some Austrian bodybuilder would take over the world someday? Did you think giant lasers, artificially intelligent robots, teleportation devices, affordable space travel, vaporizing guns, time machines, hoverboards, and flying cars would be available not too far into the future? If you answered “yes,” you were right; well, at least for a few of the items on that list. If you ever imagined a future where flying robots could monitor your every move and kill people at will, then you imagined the world we live in today. Many people have heard about these Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s) and their use in Iraq and Afghanistan. From listening to the news, it seems like a drone kills another al-Qaeda operative every day. According to the U.S. military, more than 1,600 terrorist operatives have been assassinated by drones in the past few years! While UAV’s have already been integrated into a few militaries around the world (U.S., Israel, South Korea, and others), there are a number of other robotic devices that are not “aerial vehicles.” I like to call these devices just “UV’s” (unmanned vehicles). These UV’s consist of both human-controlled and autonomous vehicles capable of moving across
land, air, and/or sea. Just a few of the officials is the hyper-sensitizing of war functions that UV’s have adopted are: for both the operators and victims of intelligence in any environment, weap- the devices. A common fear of UAVs is ons delivery, border monitoring, bomb that they have desensitized war and disabling, firefighting, and medical as- death for the soldiers operating them sistance for soldiers. The point of using UV’s instead of manpower is that they are supposed to operate in dangerous situations and operate more efficiently than humans. UV’s don’t get tired and can’t complain about the work they’re doing. While UV’s might seem like extraordinary tools now, there are still a few kinks in their development. According to a number of U.S. military scientists, there is no doubt that on the ground. But according to a few UV’s are the future of the military. They military reports, the opposite effect is have and will continue to change the exhibited. way we perceive and operate wars and These reports suggest that UAV opintelligence operations. While there are erators are actually hyper-sensitized many advantages to using UV’s as tools to their missions due to length of the and weapons, there are some challeng- missions (often several hours long) es that the world has yet to address. As and the ability to see the aftermath of their actions, made possible by the advanced video equipment on the UAV’s. The constant psychological stress of beUnmanned border control, ing ordered to spy and annihilate other helicopters, and humans from thousands of miles away submarines! can get the best of some soldiers. Additionally, unlike in the past, these operaTodd Brewster, the Director of the Cen- tors are able to see the horrors of war ter for Oral History at West Point, said, that they created with the UAV. Military “[UAV’s] are arriving faster than we can reports have documented a high rate of adapt our ethical and moral conscienc- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) es to respond to them.” As UV’s become among UAV operators; they have attribmore and more part of militaries across uted it to the length of time and stresses the world, the way wars are conduct- of being an operator. If it is true that ed, viewed, and won will profoundly there is a high rate of PTSD among solchange. diers who are not physically in battle, it A major concern of some military would seem that UV’s have actually hy·6·
per-sensitized war. As the UV program is expected to grow in the future, the health of the devices’ operators should be a major subject of concern in the military community. Another major concern is the sensitization of foreign influence. Over the past ten years, American UAV’s have surveyed the skies of Afghanistan and Iraq and, according to an expert on the region, have invoked a greater sense of hatred against the U.S. than if American foot soldiers had done the drones’ work. Many people in Afghanistan and Iraq have, understandably, been absolutely terrified by UAV’s; who wouldn’t be afraid of a remote controlled plane that can kill and destroy on demand? This fear has resulted in the belief that Americans are cowards for not showing their faces in times of war. According to the Wall Street Journal, we can expect that future American operations will be more, if not completely, dependent on UAV’s. Therefore, these negative sentiments towards Americans will almost definitely be replicated and should be addressed by the U.S. military and all other militaries that operate UV’s. There are also a number of legal problems associated with UV’s, including damage and death liability, as well as breaches of international rules of war. First, UV’s and their operators are not perfect. As noted in both Iraq and Afghanistan, there has been some collateral damage associated with UAV operations. If this damage is done when
a UV is operating autonomously, who is responsible? Obviously, the “United States” or whatever country owned the UV will be said in the media to be held responsible, but to whom specifically does the responsibility lie in a court of law? The operator(s) of the UV, right before the device went autonomous, or the commander who gave the order for the UV to function autonomously? Additionally, after a collateral damage incident like this happens, what precedent should be set of the ratio of success to collateral damage? Should UV’s be allowed to have a statistically significant margin of error if one of the main purposes of using UV’s is greater accuracy and precision? As you can tell, a situation like this can quickly become extraordinarily complex and controversial. Additionally, this situation is very plausible in the future if problems with UV’s are not addressed. While not a major issue, because the U.S. doesn’t always abide by international norms, the notion that UV’s aren’t “legal” weapons is still a concern. According to The Atlantic, “the International Committee of the Red Cross bans weapons that cause more than 25% field mortality and 5% hospital mortality.” UV’s mortality rate is generally much higher than 25%. While most nations that own UV’s may not care about rules like this, it is interesting to think about the overwhelming advantages that these nations have in warfare. Furthermore, how will the state of war change when the majority of nations begin operating UVs? Today, only the U.S., U.K., Israel, South Korea, and a few other nations own and operate UV’s, while most other countries own and operate more conventional weapons (guns and other small arms) that are outdated by most American Military standards. When UV’s start being sold to the majority of nations, I believe that there may be a short term fluctuation in the multinational polarity of military power (The U.S. will still maintain its military hegemony). Over time, though, the polarity will probably be normalized to pretty much the same levels that are present today. I predict that the world still has about a decade to go until UV’s will be mastered, massproduced, and disruptive to the polarity of global military power. Until then, the above mentioned issues will probably continue to persist and will somehow
be addressed due to the flaws with UVs and the probability of collateral damage in times of war. A UV filled world may be far off in the future, but some of the issues that will be asked in the future have already arisen. It will be best for us to address these problems sooner than later because the field of UV’s is constantly developing and will not wait for policies to be made. I believe that while thinking about the issues surround UV’s, it is important to consider the following statement by Todd Brewster, the Directory of the Center for Oral History at West Point: The simple lesson may be that for all our science, we still need to re mind ourselves that war is a human activity aimed at achieving a political mission among humans. New forms of weaponry give us a technical ad vantage that may be unbeatable on the battlefield, but even with such superiority the mission -- achieving a durable peace and a political result -- may remain elusive.
Simply put, UV’s are tools and weapons in warfare and intelligence. They are meant to carry out specific tasks or operations, but must be taken seriously. UV’s will undoubtedly continue to be important aspects of warfare in the future, but their flaws must be addressed in order for them to maintain their position as an extraordinary weapon. Cover photo taken by Bob Davis Helicopter photo taken by Frank Serritelli Protest photo taken bySyracuse Peace Council
ARTICLE Asian ArmsTITLE Race
China prompts countries to build up arms by Akshay Subramanian
From the Arabian Sea to the Pacific Ocean, countries are beefing up their arsenal at a scale not seen since the arms buildup by the US and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. A military hardware-buying binge has engulfed the Asia-Pacific and South Asia as the world’s military balance seems to be exhibiting a radical shift in partnership with the global economic balance. The defense budgets of these countries and the expanding size of these budgets over the past decade offers ample testimony to this claim. South Korea’s defense budget in 2010 stood at $26.5 billion, more than double of what it was 10 years ago. Similarly, India’s defense budget in the same year, estimated at $32.3 billion, increased by 151% over the previous decade. If these numbers appear impressive, they are dwarfed by the figures from none other than China. China’s defense budget, a gargantuan $81.1 billion in 2010, increased a whopping 358% from the previous decade. No further signs are necessary to indicate that military preparedness ranks high on the agenda of these countries. Though it is true that most of the Asian countries delayed the modernization of their armed forces due to regional financial crises towards the end of the twentieth century, the level and aggression with which these countries
are pursuing arms deals is rather astonishing. At this juncture it is important to understand the reason behind this conspicuous urge to develop larger and more advanced militaries. What threats do countries in the Asia Pacific perceive that warrant an arms buildup of such massive proportions? Each of these countries may have certain specific reasons but the overarching concern shared by all of them is the ever-escalating regional hegemony of China.
Each of these countries may have certain specific reasons but the overarching concern shared by all of them is the every escalating regional hegemony of China.
China’s economic clout has been well complemented by its military. With over 2.2 million active troops and 6500 battle tanks and plans to add much more to its armory, China’s military might is head and shoulders above that of any of its neighbors. To place these figures in perspective, Vietnam has over 450,000 active troops and 1315 battle tanks. It is thus unsurprising that China has never faced major obstacles while asserting its dominance over its neighbors with regards to territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas. The manner in which China has been able to dictate terms during these clashes, most notably during its tiff with Japan over cer·8·
tain islands near Taiwan, is remarkable. These disputes are certain to raise their head in the foreseeable future as China continues on its path to secure access to key natural resources to satiate the voracious appetite of its economy. In addition to the threat of China’s economic and military clout, the countries in question are fearful of the United States’ willingness and ability to intervene in these territorial conflicts. American allies in the Asia Pacific have traditionally relied on the US for military support and have believed that they would be able to count on the US to beef up their national security. With the impending shift in the concentration of the global economic and political influence from the west to the east, this seems to be a legitimate concern. The worries about the reliability of US support is further lent credence by the fact that the US and its allies in Western Europe are looking to scale down their military operations and spending in the coming years. Cuts to the US defense budget, a major bone of contention among lawmakers, seem to be more of a reality as the government seeks to find ways to trim its debt. The measures taken by each of the countries have revolved around a modernization of the military and aggressive arms purchases. South Korea best epitomizes this view. The country, which has been at the forefront of the arms race in the Asia Pacific, has around 687,000 active troops and 2800 battle tanks. It has aggressively pursued its strategic goals, especially since tensions
with North Korea continue to persist. An increase in attacks from its belligerent neighbor and China’s support for the country are South Korea’s biggest concerns. Being a key US ally, it also stands to be a major casualty from the perceived decline in the United States’ military interests in the region. Australia, whose army primarily played roles in international peacekeeping efforts in the past, is not a country that you expect to hog headlines in the domain of arms purchases. The island nation, however, has also thrown its hat into the ring and is looking to aggressively expand its military. This may seem surprising since Australia has been one of the greatest beneficiaries of China’s rise as an economic behemoth. Australia has benefitted hugely from the natural resources boom fueled by China’s insatiable appetite for metals and minerals. Looking at this situation from a different lens, however, the country perceives China’s aggressive stance in the Pacific with much suspicion. It aims to spend a mammoth $279 billion over the next 2 decades to add to its burgeoning arsenal as it embarks on its biggest initiative to expand the army in the postWorld War II era. Vietnam, which also has a checkered history with China as far as territorial claims in the South China Sea are concerned, does not have the resources to
match China but has offered the navies of foreign countries access to its deepwater port in Cam Ranh Bay in the hope that they may be better equipped to secure the country’s shipping routes. Its relatively limited means, notwithstanding, Vietnam is actively seeking to complement its military expansion by engaging in joint naval exercises with its key allies in the region.
Given the massive stakes involved, any diplomatic fallout has the potential to escalate into a full blown conflict.
No discourse on Asian geopolitics is complete, however, without mention of China’s economic rival, India. Countering China’s regional dominance has been the primary motive behind India’s arms buildup. India is particularly concerned with China’s friendship with its neighbors, Pakistan in particular. China has been active in completing infrastructure projects and developing ports in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh among other countries in the Indian Ocean as part of its String of Pearls strategy to protect its critical trading routes. The growing threat from China combined with the ever-present threat from militants and tensions
with Pakistan boiling over provide adequate grounds for India undertaking a massive modernization of its army. Equipped with the world’s third largest army by number of troops, the South Asian giant spent 40% of total military expenditure between 2009 and 2010 on new equipment. The mightily impressive numbers and the far reaching implications involved imply that the scale of the arms buildup among the countries simply cannot be ignored. Besides destabilizing the region, the potential severity of future territorial conflicts could cripple the nerve center of global trade, particularly that of the transportation of crude oil. Given the massive stakes involved, any diplomatic fallout has the potential to escalate into a full blown conflict. The perceived strength of the US will be crucial in determining the pace at which the military development programs are carried out. Though the US claims that its interests in the Asia Pacific is not on the decline, the countries involved are getting increasingly wary of the possibility of the US offering a security cover during a conflict. Though it is highly likely that mutually assured destruction would deter these countries from entering into a war, it seems safe to claim that potential clashes can be expected to be much more heated than in the past.
% Increase in Defense Budgets over the past decade
400% 350% 300% 250% 200% 150% 100% 50% 0% China
Bootleg Your Copy of SOPA, Today! Was SOPA Needed? by Angela Huang
Imagine having been assigned an insanely obscure paper in a history course: Research the whereabouts of ex-President Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and his relationship to sociologist Edwin Chadwick; trace their family lineages. How do they relate to the current economy in America? Afterwards, explain whether topographical changes may affect the psychological health of current citizens affected by their research.” Determined to acquire the complex information required to fulfill such a task, you turn on your computer and open your browser. Sitting comfortably in your chair, you type in the addresses and press enter, with the expectation of gaining access to hundreds of gigabytes of information. But hold on…they’re black. The webpage yields nothing but a solid black background and the acronym SOPA. Can you imagine a world without Wikipedia or Google, where people actually have to use books? It is clear that these websites orchestrated the service blackout to raise awareness against this act
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was written with the intention of expanding the ability of the law enforcement within the country to fight online trafficking in terms of intellectual property and counterfeit goods. Recently, SOPA has become an important issue because, according to Representative Bob Goodlatte, “Intellectual property is one of America’s chief job creators and competitive advantages in the global
“Intellectual property is one of America’s chief job creators and competitive advantages in the global marketplace, yet American inventors, authors, and entrepreneurs have been forced to stand and watch as their works are stolen by foreign infringers beyond the reach of current US laws.”
marketplace, yet American inventors, authors, and entrepreneurs have been forced to stand by and watch as their works are stolen by foreign infringers beyond the reach of current US laws.” Stealing and illegal sharing is not only taking away jobs in the United States but is slowing down the coun· 10 ·
try’s ability to innovate and compete with foreign countries. If websites and users continue to illegally share videos, songs, and information without accrediting those who deserve it, it harms the country as a whole—especially the artists and scholars who produce the work. The government intends to use SOPA to stop the illegal cyber distribution of intellectual property by eliminating popular infringing websites and resources that lead them to success. Court orders will be used to prevent advertising networks and payment facilities from conducting business with such websites, and prevent these websites from showing up on search engines. Also, internet service providers would block these sites from users who try to access them. Finally, criminal laws would become more serious by imposing a potential five years in prison punishment on those who authorize illegal streaming of copyrighted content. SOPA was introduced by Representative Lamar Smith. It was opposed by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and others because they deemed it to have the potential to instigate countless additional innovation-killing lawsuits and litigation. Internationally, the European Union Parliament is against the effort to revoke IP addresses or domain names, as it would invoke freedom and integrity of the global internet. The opposition holds a salient point.
A map of the updates on Wikipedia during the week of the SOPA blackout on Wikipedia. SOPA would have a harsh impact on
Music sales have decreased by more than half compared to what they were in 1999 following the emergence of Napster and other music sharing systems.
online communities. By putting responsibility for content onto the websites themselves, user-fueled sites such as YouTube would be changed significantly. Websites like Etsy, Flickr, and Vimeo could also be shut down, since authority would have the power to dismantle an entire domain if something posted on a single blog seemed in violation of the law. Further, everyday internet functions would be affected. Search results on Google and Bing would be “censored” and monitored in order to prevent linking to offending sites. Users will have access to much less information than they do at the moment. Some have claimed that this takes away First Amendment rights to freedom and personal expression, and that if SOPA is passed, the government would increase its involvement in the private life of its citizens immensely. Additional legislation like SOPA would have no borders to being passed. Statistics, however, show the toll
that intellectual property infringement has increased tremendously in recent years. Music sales have decreased by more than half compared to what they were in 1999 following the emergence of Napster and other music sharing systems. Producers, artists, authors, and employees in related fields have been and are currently being stripped of their earned recognition and profits for work. Furthermore, consumers are being hurt by counterfeit and fraudulent products. Finally, most obviously yet mostly overlooked, stealing in all its dimensions is illegal. When Limewire was still functioning, thousands would utilize it and download hundreds of songs with a couple of clicks. Those users downloaded the songs with the knowledge that it was illegal and wrong, but they continued because of the convenience and the costs we would avoid. When an individual does this, the only hurt inflicted is upon personal integrity, but when multiplied by millions of other individuals doing the same, tremendous impacts are inflicted upon America. SOPA would have actively combatted these issues, promoting a safe virtual environment where people would not be subject to intellectual property theft. Mainstream websites such as Wikipedia and Google held “anti-SOPA awareness days” in which they deemed the act as one that would wrongfully censor the internet by violating First Amendment rights and limiting user
freedom. But since when has shutting down illegal operations been deemed “censorship”? Think for a minute—the government and writers of the act do not personally gain anything out of SOPA being passed, besides satisfaction that action has been taken against illegal operations. If anything, SOPA would censor our country from becoming free, fair, and fraudless. Citizens are motivated by economic incentives to utilize piracy for personal gain, and kindly telling them to stop will do nothing.
Mainstream websites such as Wikipedia and Google held “anti-SOPA awareness days” in which they deemed the act as one that would wrongfully censor the internet by violating First Amendment rights and limiting user freedom.
It is time action is taken to fix these flawed practices. This act should not be passed right away without further inspection or contemplation. But maybe we ought to be a little more open-minded and view the situation from an angle outside of a spinning chair in front of a computer with a mouse, ready to click away recognition for others and lawabiding actions. C
pushing the boundaries ELTIT ELof CIhuman TRA conflict by Henry Chang 23 years ago, the Berlin Wall came crumbling down and a curtain was drawn upon the end of an era. 23 years ago, the first commercial Internet Service Providers (ISPs) were founded and the Iinternet was poised to explode. But that was then. Now, we live in an age where the victors of the Cold War no longer hold a position of hegemony over the rest of the world. We live in an age where the next great fields of technology are “smart”.” Now, it is not so much a question of what the Internet is but rather “in how many ways can I access it”?” The Internet has become
“[Internet] hosts 97% of all telecommunications information- that’s 97 times higher than the rate just two decades ago.”
one of, if not the most pervasive medium in the world today. It hosts 97% of all telecommunications informationthat’s 97 times higher than the rate just two decades ago. This gargantuan jump in traffic represents more than just an increase in masticating toddler videos however; governments have also started using the Internet as the core
medium for their telecommunications purposes. They have also gone beyond mere e-mail and data storage and have begun looking into the possibilities of weaponizing the Internet. In that regard there have already been landmark breakthroughs. As a result, humanity stands upon the cusp of an age where cyberwarfare will join its more conventional brethren in the state-sponsored arsenal’s of death and destruction. There are a number of reasons why state level cyberwarfare has become such a pressing threat so fast. Most importantly, the Internet has become a tool that connects everyone. This goes beyond social networking and public forums - each and every one of the web- capable computers that have become society’s crux is inextricably interconnected. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter whether or not a web user wants to be linked to the rest of the world: viruses and malware are software designed to invade resisting systems. Hackers and crackers are specialists in the field of breaking into or breaking down shielded computers. When these two facts are combined on the state level, the inevitable result is a rush to develop the technologies and methodologies that allow one government to access or attack another nation’s vital computer systems. It has even gotten to the point where not only information but also real world physical assets can be targeted. The Internet has spread its tendrils to every corner of the globe. Now it will also serve as the avenue by which any corner of any state · 12 ·
might come under attack. The non-state organizations and their Guy Fawkes masks may have capture the limelight, but a number of nation-states have already taken things a dozen steps further. From the attacks on Iranian industry to the massive 2007 Estonian propaganda onslaught, significant real world consequences have been effected by cyber-triggers. It has gotten to the point where state’s have widely accepted the Internet and computing realms as the 5th domain of conflict, after land, sea, air and space. However, while it is indeed a new area for conflict, it also possesses the unique property of being inextricably interlinked with all other domains. With the turn of the millennium, the Internet has become the prime medium for communications, processing and data storage. This in essence means that dominance of the realm of cyberwarfare would bestow upon its conqueror the proverbial high ground. Naturally, states have thus rushed to develop and advance technologies and methodologies associated with cyberwarfare. State-level cyberwarfare influences more than just the grand realm of international geopolitics; it also has direct consequences for the general public. A unique and perhaps rather disenchanting factor of Internet- based action is that it is much harder to avoid collateral damage when compared to more conventional means and methods. Furthermore, this doesn’t even encompass the nation-states that would gladly take advantage of this new reach to tar-
get and attack the civilian citizens of a rival polity. In essence, big or small, group or individual, the rise of cyberwarfare is an undiscriminating assault that everyone should be aware of. Cyberwarfare on the national and international level is becoming a key part of any geopolitical arsenal. The general public response up to now has been surprisingly muted, which could have significant short term repercussions. Looking toward the future however, there are already signs that institutions, laws and treatises are being set up and drafted to better govern and control state-sponsored cyberwarfare.
“In a country that could care less about international condemnation (e.g. Syria), the ability to destroy a political opponent’s means of communication coupled with the willingness to use lethal conventional force will result in the successful oppression of dissenting opinion. “
One of the most significant areas affected by the rapid increase in cyber capabilities is the realm of national politics and governance. A little over a year ago the Arab spring sauntered into Egypt, catalysing one of the most explosive revolutionary movements in recent memory. It is well known that the organizers of the movement relied heavily on Facebook and other social media. However, it is the Egyptian government’s consequential attempt to shut off the Internet that concerns the more impactful arena of cyberwarfare in the political realm. International outcry and political pressure forced the Egyptian government to restore the Internet after a few days, but during that time frame the protest movement was severely hampered. In a country that could care less about international condemnation (e.g. Syria), the ability to destroy a political opponent’s means of communication coupled with the willingness to use lethal conventional force will result in the successful oppression of dissenting opinion. While the use of cyberwarfare in the political arena is extremely effective, it is an even more potent threat when applied as part of intelligence and military doctrine. The effects in these cases are often far more physically apparent and as Iran will · 13 ·
testify, gravely threatening.
“In June of 2010, the revolutionary Stuxnet virus was discovered. As a piece of software, it was one of the most sophisticated pieces of malware ever deployed.”
In June of 2010, the revolutionary Stuxnet virus was discovered. As a piece of software, it was one of the most sophisticated pieces of malware ever deployed. As a result there has been near unanimous agreement that development of the attack was statesponsored. The goal of the malware was to infect Siemens industrial software and equipment. Upon infection, the virus searches for a specific type of motor that spins between 807 and 1210 Hz and periodically modifies the spin frequency to affect industrial operation. The malware also was able to mask its alterations from monitoring software and contained a self-destruct device to help erase itself after completing the task. The Stuxnet virus seems to have been deployed by a group of Western governments specifically tar-
geting Iranian nuclear infrastructure. The Iranian Natanz facility was hit the hardest, with slightly less than 1000 of its 4700 centrifuges estimated to have been affected. The change in rotational speeds placed undue stress on many of the centrifuges, causing them to expand and tear each other apart. While the attack was not able to significantly impact the long term goals of the Iranian nuclear program, it certainly set the Iranian’s back and prevented a radical increase in uranium enrichment during 2010. Perhaps even more significantly, the attack showcased the ability of nation-states to attack vital strategic infrastructure from afar while hiding behind a veil of anonymity. The use of cyberwarfare in conjunction with more conventional military and intelligence operations has also become commonplace in recent years. The Russian armed forces in particular, have had startling success when coupling cyberattacks with their conventional counterparts. During the Russia-Georgia conflict of 2008, a very effective Russian psychological warfare operation was launched against official Georgian government websites. The attacks varied from simply taking down Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defence websites to replacing the President of Georgia’s official site with a picture likening him to Hitler.
“Certainly governments and national agencies have started to sit up and take notice, but the average citizen has yet to recognize cyberwarfare as a legitimate threat.”
Even more revolutionary was the way the Russian government seemed to outsource the cyber element of the operation. A number of software packages and corresponding instructions were distributed to popular Russian hacking forums. This in essence placed both the legal responsibility and the bandwidth cost on the average “hacktivist” participant rather than the Russian government. The Georgian
government also did something worth noting when they gave up on trying to revert the president’s website and instead simply changed server locations to one in Atlanta, Georgia. The Russians in turn stopped the attacks on the new site, likely in part due to not knowing what the American response would have been. As can be seen, there are a wide variety of ways in which state level cyber activity both affects and utilizes the citizens of a country. It is thus extremely strange that the overall response to cyberattacks has been very muted. Certainly governments and national agencies have started to sit up and take notice, but the average citizen has yet to recognize cyberwarfare as a legitimate threat. Since the modern geopolitical sphere is influenced quite strongly by public opinion, this will likely mean a short term increase in cyber operations similar to those conducted in Iran, Georgia and Egypt. This is also predicated on the fact that there is little international legislation governing the legality of cyberwarfare. Combined with the relative safety of conducting attacks without even needing to step into hostile territory, it is clear that the cyber option is a very attractive one when guarded and hostile states such as North Korea or Iran are part of the problem. The increased reach that cyberwarfare allows is also an important consequence that should be taken into account. Power plants supplying energy to emergency medical wards, network guided automated subway systems, industrial construction governed by the inch perfect movement of robotic machines, all of these previously unfathomable targets might soon be within easy reach. It is important to realize that cyberwarfare poses new threats as well as different ways to achieve old goals. These new threats will by and large have a much more direct effect on the common citizen . While the burden of protection will effectively lie solely with the state, greater public awareness would increase the pressure on governments and spur the development of safeguards and other protective technologies. While the immediate picture seems to be dark and murky, there are
signs that in the long term, the world will come to grips with the 5th domain. America for one, has already taken steps to try and legislate against various forms of cyberwarfare. The current rhetoric is quite extreme, highlighted by the Pentagon report that a cyberattack on the United States could be constituted as an act of war. Over the last few years however, talks on both the bilateral (between Russia and the U.S.) and multilateral (the U.N.) levels have
“Cyberwarfare might have once been the realm of science fiction, but it is now a cold harsh reality that the modern world can’t ignore.”
seen progress being made towards the drafting of a more concrete set of international regulations governing state-sponsored cyber activity. This combined with the rapid development of national cybersecurity divisions all over the world points to a less volatile geopolitical future. Like the space revolution of the latter half of the 20th century, the Internet has produced a vast new plane upon which national polities can further their various agendas. Similarly, it thus seems likely that a short term upturn in state-sponsored cyber activity will be followed by international regulation and treatises. Like space, the Internet provides a level of access and convenience that could spiral into bloody brutal conflict at the touch of a keystroke. The Internet was one of the greatest positive creations of the 20th century. It connected journalists and doctors, allowed for the provision of breaking world news and the completion of the human genome project. But there is also a darker side to theInternet, a side that has drawn the interest of spymasters and generals everywhere. Cyberwarfare might have once been the realm of science fiction, but it is now a cold harsh reality that the modern world can’t ignore.
pushing the boundaries ofARTICLE internet expression TITLE Jason Kong Hacktivism: Pushing the Boundaries of Internet Expression
You return to your computer after a long day’s work, ready to check the heaven knows how many Facebook notifications you managed to garner after a week of Internet abstinence. You quickly type in your password – incorrect. Confused, you try again, no go. Bewildered, you check for caps lock and then give it another shot. Must have changed it without realizing, you think, as you go ahead and file a password recovery request. You head to your e-mail and sign in there, but again your try fails. As attempt after attempt is rejected, you begin to panic as you think of the possibility of someone else having access to your Facebook, reading through your e-mails, and having full access to all the information you put online. As horrific as the above scenario might sound, it’s only one of many nightmare scenarios lurking in wait for users of the Internet. With the Internet ingraining itself in just about every part of our lives, from connecting realworld relationships to setting up virtual stores to providing entertainment, the web has grown from its nascent form into an all-encompassing medium. The Internet’s immeasurable stores of information and distribution mechanisms have made it a battlefield for groups vying for power. One needs only to look at
recent examples of targeted attacks on key websites in the South Ossetia War of 2008 and Israel’s ability to subvert Syria’s radar systems in 2007 air strikes to see the prevalence of cyberwarfare among disputing nations. However, nation states are not the only armed parties in the combat zone; computer hacker groups have emerged as a noteworthy contender in any battle over the World Wide Web. With growing threats to Internet and civilian safety, we must consider what limits, if any, should be placed on Internet expression. At their core, computer hacker groups are a collection or community of hackers, those Internet users who detect and possibly exploit weaknesses in computers or websites. The history of these bodies dates back to the advent of the electronic computer in the 1980s. For the next thirty years, computer hacker’s abilities have matched the increased sophistication of computer systems as initial hacking groups such as the Legion of Doom and Masters of Deception of the 1980’s and ‘90s have given way to the high-profile groups of today such as Lulz Security. While the illegal breaking into of computers seems antagonistic and unfavourable, perhaps people would be more willing to grant sympathy to the surging “hacktivism” movement. As the name may suggest, hacktivism combines the practice of hacking with political activism, using entry into computer systems and Internet attacks as a means of expression and method of fueling change. Popular forms of hacktiv· 15 ·
ism include altering web pages to produce political content undesired by the website’s owner or denial-of-service attacks (DoS attack) where hackers slow down or make unavailable Internet services through overloading a site’s servers. Less disruptive hacktivism tools include creating websites or software to achieve a political purpose. This can be seen in the case of the activist site WikiLeaks, and bloggers blogging anonymously about sensitive political issues.
“Even the term cyberterrorism itself is incredibly nebulous, as there is no agreement among governing bodies what constitutes terrorist activities or how cyberterrorism should be defined.”
Here, we see that it becomes difficult to distinguish hacktivism from Internet activism as a medium for political expression. Typically, internet activism consists of using electronic communication technologies to raise awareness about issues. For example this can be achieved through Facebook campaigns or chain e-mails. This can be contrasted with cyberterrorism, where the Internet is used as a medium for terrorist activities. One of the more prominent examples in recent history is the series of DoS attacks on Estonian government sites by a pro-Kremlin youth movement of Transnistria following the relocation
of the Soviet World War II memorial “The Bronze Solider of Tallinn”. Even the term cyberterrorism itself is incredibly nebulous, as there is no agreement among governing bodies what constitutes terrorist activities or how cyberterrorism should be defined. With political speech being arguably the most important protection granted by the First Amendment and being recognized as a necessary universal human right, drawing the line between what is acceptable protest and what is not on the Internet is crucial. Making the task even more challenging is the Internet’s transcendence of national borders. If any resolution achieved regarding protected speech on the Internet is not uniform or consensual, enforcement becomes difficult as extradition and international relations comes into play. It might be more helpful to ground a discussion regarding hacktivism in terms of recent events, especially with the increased amount of media attention given to hacktivist groups in the past year. Internet censorship and protected speech came to the forefront of the United States’ attention when the whistle blowing site WikiLeaks began publishing diplomatic cables from the State Department in November of 2010. WikiLeaks provides a mechanism for news sources and whistleblowers to share classified information that is then published and shared with large media outlets. Controversy arose as proponents of WikiLeaks praised its ability to provide transparency in government while critics denounced its actions as detrimental to national security and international diplomacy. The unintentional release of an unredacted version of the cables prompted further fears regarding safety for the lives of confidential informants. In the week following the U.S. cables leak, Amazon, PayPal, MasterCard and Visa Inc. all froze or suspended payments to WikiLeaks, which is primarily funded by online donations. Hacktivists responded by DoSing a number of websites in what was termed “Operation Avenge Assange.” While similar Internet battles have been occurring for years, this instance brought the issue back into the nation’s limelight. From the WikiLeaks example, it is seen that hacktivism can represent a number of interests and political views,
from transparency of government to human rights issues. One central theme of hacktivist groups that has become especially relevant is that of freedom of expression and Internet censorship. In 2003, a meme termed “Anonymous” began circulating around the Internet that held the idea of Internet users forming a digitized global brain. Since then, Anonymous has grown in membership and reputation as a collective of hackers or an identity that hackers adopt. Their secrecy, as their name might suggest, makes it hard to pinpoint any person or
“One central theme of hacktivist groups that has become especially relevant is that of freedom of expression and Internet censorship.”
group as “Anonymous.” Instead, members of Anonymous use Guy Fawkes masks popularized in “V for Vendetta” and an image of a suited figure with a question mark for a face o establish their identity. In 2011, another of today’s highpublicity hacker groups, LulzSec, was formed. The group’s name is derived from the Internet acronym “LOLs” (laughing out loud) and “security.” Since their formation, the group has been active in exploiting security flaws of highly public organizations. In June, 2011, LulzSec declared a partnership with Anonymous and began “Operation AntiSecurity,” a series of hacking attacks. Targets included the United Kingdom’s cyberterrorism branch, the Serious Organised Crime Agency, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, and the governments of Zimbabwe and Tunisia. Other government-targeted attacks by LulzSec include DoSing the Central Intelligence Agency’s website www.cia. gov and releasing sensitive account information associated with the US Senate’s www.senate.gov. Hacktivism has again been brought to attention regarding Internet censorship. The primary impetus to this past month’s events in the United States were two pieces of legislation up for debate in Congress: the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House of Representatives and its Senate counterpart, the Protect IP Act (PIPA). These
two bills sought to protect intellectual property and enforce copyright laws by increasing enforcement power of governing bodies and expanding the scope of forms of expression that fall under copyright legislation. As termed by one CNN reporter, the debate regarding the proposals soon became a battle of Hollywood versus Silicon Valley. As organizations such as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) tried to push the bills through, tech giants such as Google and Facebook urged their users to voice their dissent. Opposition culminated on January 18th with Reddit, the English Wikipedia, and 7,000 other sites “blacked out” in a joint effort against the proposed legislation. This Internet activism was met with success as plans to draft the bills were postponed indefinitely. However, many free Internet advocates were disappointed the next day when they found Megaupload, a popular file-hosting site, was shut down and that several Megaupload executives had been arrested. In retaliation, Anonymous launched a series of attacks on sites including the Department of Justice, FBI, RIAA, and Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). The attacks brought back down to earth the peaceful, white knight-esque efforts of the previous day’s protests. Consequentially, Internet-interest groups have denounced these hacks as unproductive while legislators have pointed to it as a need for more regulation. We as a nation or a collective of Internet users are at a crossroads regard-
“In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “he who gives up freedom for safety deserves neither.” ”
ing the appropriateness of hacktivism. As we weigh the pro’s and con’s of how much freedom of expression we wish to allow on the Internet, we have to remember that freedom is most at danger when safety is at stake. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “he who gives up freedom for safety deserves neither.” After seeing both sides of the issue, we must decide to either denounce these Internet hackers as irresponsible terrorists or herald them as champions of freedom.
Redrawing the Map ARTICLE TITLE
What Lies Ahead for China? by Wing Cheung
In the world of scientific research, the Falkland Islands are larger than Canada, and France is larger than Russia. The most impressive of all is China, which dwarfs the entire continent of Africa. As seen in a density-equalizing map created by World Mapper, the global distribution of growth in scientific research is extremely disproportionate. The disproportionate distribution of scientific research development has redrawn the global boundaries of the world. Since 1990, China has emerged as one of the biggest producers of scientific research. By 2001, the amount of scientific research produced by China rivaled that of the United States. In terms of growth in scientific research, China has surpassed the U.S. According to a report in The Telegraph, China will most likely replace the United States as the leading producer in scientific research papers by 2020. The growth of scientific research in China is not surprising given the rapid development of China in the past few decades. Since the economic reforms in the 1970s, which scholar Sheying Chen has argued to be the beginning of a decadeslong process, the Chinese economy has grown tremendously and provided the country with the necessary funding to finance its science industry. According to The World Bank, the real Gross Domestic Product growth of China is one of the highest amongst developing
A density-equalizing map showing the research growth experienced by each country. countries and surpasses that of some ingly long process of trial and error in developed countries. scientific research. This not only saves The warp-speed economic growth China an enormous amount of time but experienced by China doubtlessly has also a lot of money. provided China with ample resources to In his research, Lin highlights the invest in scientific research and educa- nuclear bomb tests in the 1960s and tion. In fact, according to a report pre- the satellite launches in the 1970s as pared by scholar R. Edward Grumbne, evidence of rapid development in techChina is predicted to become the largest nology in China. By having the option to economy in the world by the year 2035. reverse-engineer and buy information Economic development alone, however, from others as opposed to starting from is an insufficient explanation of the rap- scratch, China has been able to fast-forid growth of scientific research in China. ward technological development. Neither does the emphasis on technical The consequences of the fast develeducation alone sufficiently explain this opment of scientific research in China phenomenon. are economic and political. As China The extraordinary progress in sci- becomes the world leader in scientific entific research in China is a vivid ex- research, it will also become the global ample of the strategic application of center of scientific innovation. Busiwhat economist Justin Yifu Lin called nesses in the technology industries will backwardness in Chinese technologi- no doubt shift their focus to China and cal knowledge. According to Lin, back- in the process they will bring with them wardness refers to the gap between the high-paying jobs. This will not only imquality of scientific research performed prove the standard of living in the coundifferent countries. try but also attract more foreign investNot long ago, China was years behind ment in China. technologically advanced countries like The political impact of this phenomthe U.S., but having started technologi- enon will be crucial. Tensions will most cal development after everyone else likely rise between China and previous gave China the opportunity to watch leaders in scientific research as relaand learn from others. tions between China and many develChina’s strategic use of its late start oped countries are currently tense. in technological development has alFor example, reports of Chinese enlowed it to determine which research gineered cyber-attacks on U.S. institustrategies are effective by analyzing the tions have instilled unease among the research methods of other countries. public. According to The Wall Street In addition, China has utilized its Journal, a cyber-attack from China backwardness to observe the discover- breached the defenses of the U.S. Chamies made by others to propel itself for- ber of Commerce and jeopardized senward instead of undergoing a painstak- sitive information in the system. Re· 17 ·
ports of cyber-attacks on private firms and individuals have also been made, thus not only the security of the government but also that of the public may be in question. The technological advancement of China will only worsen speculations of the potential of Chinese cyber-attacks. It is expected that increased weariness and paranoia among current leaders in technological development will lead to policy changes toward China, though it is uncertain exactly how those policies would change. The most probable change might be an increase in cyber security measures. A much more immediate threat, however, lies in physical security. Technological advancements in China will most likely lead to the development of better weaponry. While it is unlikely that China will embark on an arms race with the U.S. or the European Union, it is probable that the presence of advanced national defense measures in China will be enough to pose as a challenge to developed states and prompt countries like the U.S to respond. There are numerous implications of China becoming the world leader in scientific research, but it is most unlikely that current leaders in scientific research as well as countries that are scientifically backwards will be able to develop like China. One reason for this is path dependency. Path dependency is the impact that an initial set of decisions, such as those in economics or politics, can have on the availability of future decisions. Historical precedents have created path dependency in those countries. As a result, they are not the same as China and therefore cannot simply achieve the same progress by making the same decisions as China. For example, South Africa is extremely backwards technologically,
but it cannot simply develop in the same way that China has because South Africa lacks the financial and material resources that China has. The historical background of South Africa is also extremely different from that of China, thus South Africa has been shaped to be a state with paths different from those of China. As a result, countries that are considered technologically backwards, namely those in Africa, South America and Eastern Europe, cannot seek a quick solution. Unless those countries are able to acquire the resources and conditions that foster sustainable development in scientific research, they will remain technologically inferior. The U.S. rose to become the top producer in scientific researchâ€”approximately the same output as that of all of Western Europeâ€”for as many reasons as China has been rising through the ranks in research output, but the most obvious reason was probably the devastation that the Second World War brought to potential competitors to the U.S. Following the fatigue from the global conflict, the Cold War spurred scientific development in the U.S. by making scientific research a matter of prestige and national pride. The most obvious reason for the growth in research in Western Europe, on the other hand, is its historical precedence in science. For centuries, Western Europe has been the heart of the exchange of scientific discoveries. Such has fostered institutions that fueled scientific development. There is little that the U.S. and Europe can do to prevent China from surpassing them because the interconnectedness of the globalized world makes it impossible to limit Chinaâ€™s access to research findings in the U.S. and in Europe. The interconnectedness among countries, however, will also limit the
degree to which China can benefit from the advantage of its technological backwardness. Once China has reached the same level of research output, it will have exhausted most of the foreign sources of innovation that it can tap into and utilize to its advantage. According to Lin, the success from the implementation of the backwardness strategy is sustained by the implementation of policies that not only promote the growth of new industries but also the preservation and transformation of existing ones. According to Lin, the strong emphasis on modernization in developing countries often leads to the neglect of existing economic actors and their impact on the economy. Developing countries like India, which have not reached the stage where China is at in terms of development but has the potential to do so, should reassess the trajectory upon which they have planned their development. Both countries that are less affluent than China and those that have the adequate resources for scientific development can benefit from analyzing development in China. Even though not all countries will achieve the same kind of growth that China has, they can still improve their current policies. Policy makers cannot simply adopt the model of the China economy as it is. Instead, they must implement policies that account for the ways in which existing institutions can be advantageous or disadvantageous to sustainable economic development. Development in all areas, whether it is in domestic scientific research or international trade, can only be maximized by the pursuit of feasible objectives and policies that have been tailored to make the most of the specialties of each country. C
Assembling the ARTICLEFuture TITLE The Rise of Smart Manufacturing by Michael Baresich A landmark ruling by the World Trade Organization recently has recently found China to be guilty of protectionism. China’s export quotas on nine raw materials, such as zinc and bauxite, gave its domestic manufacturers an unfair advantage. China has frequently been criticized for its currency control policies as well as its failure to honor its 2001 pledge to stop export controls, but the new WTO ruling is far more significant than it may appear on the surface. China, long considered to be the dominant force in world manufacturing, has a lot to worry about from this ruling for two primary reasons. First, China’s main advantage—price—is highly contingent upon cheap materials. Factor in rising Chinese wages, and the advantage of moving manufacturing offshore shrinks rapidly. The second is that the minerals covered under the ruling are necessary for many high-tech products, such as Boeing’s helicopter blades, phone parts for Nokia, and components for Toyota’s hybrid cars. As it turns out, these high-tech products tend to be manufactured outside of China. Boeing is a mainstay of American manufacturing, and it has recently been moving much of its manufacturing back home after previously outsourcing some of it. Toyota, despite being a Japanese car company, actually manu-
factures a great deal of its products in the US. And of course, the Big Three automakers in Detroit will benefit greatly as well. Manufacturing is easily the most recognizable part of an economy. The iconic image of the blue-collar worker, a punch-card machine, and an assembly line dominate our mindset. Despite diminished manufacturing output, the US still has a higher manufacturing output than China, Japan, Germany, Brazil, or India. Despite this, manufacturing makes up less than 15% of total US GDP and around 10% of total employment. Manufacturing was also hit hardest by the recession, with total growth in real GDP hitting -5.1% and -6.4% in 2008 and 2009, respectively. Manufacturing has also bounced back strongly since then, growing at 5.6% in 2010. However, growth in manufacturing employment has lagged. The result is being termed a “jobless recovery.” “But how,” you may ask, “can we be growing so rapidly without bringing on more people?” The simple answer: robots. The increased use of robotics and automation in manufacturing has been spurred by a number of factors. First, the cost of capital—meaning machinery, software, and the investments needed to get them going—is extremely cheap right now. That means that any labor saving potential that may have already existed can be easily taken advantage of. Second, such increased automation offers many advantages in terms of the end product as well as the actual process of production. With finer controls · 19 ·
afforded through smart manufacturing, mass-production of nanotechnology becomes possible, and with it, associated benefits, including lighter, stronger materials, less pollution, and greater energy efficiency. Furthermore, tighter control over the process ensures that output can be managed more directly. A closer weaving of what consumers demand and what suppliers build will mean drops in prices of various hightechnology goods, from cars to pharmaceuticals to cell phones.
Manufacturing was also hit hardest by the recession, with total growth in real GDP hitting -5.1% and -6.4% in 2008 and 2009, respectively. Manufacturing has also bounced back strongly since then, growing at 5.6% in 2010.
The US is the perfect place to begin to transition fully to smart manufacturing. An abundance of capital—financial, physical, and human—is present. Consumers have been putting a premium on “Made in America” products for a long time, both for patriotic as well as other reasons. Concerns about foreign labor conditions have been prevalent for a long time, giving rise to Fair Trade agricultural products as well as a great deal of scrutiny of companies whose overseas suppliers treat their workers
inhumanely. Apple recently has had a public relations nightmare over its contract with Foxconn, a major electronics manufacturer in Shenzhen. A number of suicides at Foxconn’s plants have even necessitated the implementation of a series of suicide prevention measures. If smart manufacturing really takes off, your next iPhone could come from a factory a hundred miles away instead of a thousand, and at an even cheaper cost. Given Apple’s recent problems with copyright enforcement in China, it is feasible that they would be willing to invest a lot in moving production back home. Of course, there are still obstacles to the development of smart manufacturing, both domestic and international. Currently, there is a mismatch between workers’ skills and those demanded by employers. While smart manufacturing requires fewer actual laborers, there is high demand for those with the technical skills to develop, run, and service the new technologies involved. Obviously this sort of transformation of skills cannot happen overnight, but there is a good possibility that new emphases on science and technology training in academic institutions will give plenty of people the opportunity to fill these roles. Additionally, most government programs
focused on manufacturing have their sights set on employment rather than outright production. This may be helpful in the short term, but in the long run, it will stunt the much-needed change over. For smart manufacturing to take hold, it must be allowed to develop into a human capital intensive industry. Furthermore, much of the competitive advantage of smart manufacturing relies on easy access to raw materials. China has a habit of not following the rules with regard to trade rulings, and it strongly appealed the recent WTO decision. Given China’s hold on enormous amounts of rarer materials, this could prove problematic. Furthermore, China’s extension of its sphere of influence into Africa, another area rich in raw materials but difficult to access, could make prices rise as well. If, however, smart manufacturing does take off, the implications for the world balance of trade will be interesting. Currently, most Western countries, with the notable exception of Germany, France, and Scandinavian nations, have a negative balance of trade. The US has been running a trade “deficit” almost continuously since 1971, meaning that it imports more than it exports.With the United States’ potential for a comparative advantage in smart manufacturing, the deficit may have the possi-
bility of being balanced. If the balance starts to shift towards a surplus, it is likely that tax revenue would increase subsequently with few ill effects on the economy. This would greatly benefit the US and help it pay down its enormous national debt. As smart manufacturing’s benefits become apparent, it will spread, evening out competitive advan-
most government programs focused on manufacturing have their sights set on employment rather than outright production. This may be helpful in the short term, but in the long run, it will stunt the much-needed change over.
tages over time. The model of the world economy, rather than being a continual quest for the next cheap outsourcing location, will start to focus primarily on technical advantages. Globalization, rather than being about price arbitrage, just means that markets are larger and ideas can spread more quickly. In the end, that makes us, the consumers, the ultimate winners.
Weighing the Effects of Mass Sporting Events by Kateryna Brezitska When first thinking about mass sporting events such as the Olympics or World Cup, what comes to mind is a goldmine with unlimited tourism and buckets of money pouring down the streets of the host country. However, the reality usually pales in comparison to this image. The losses suffered by Greece at the end of the 2004 Olympics held in Athens are said to be a contributing factor to the country’s present financial instability. In addition, the profits made by South Africa for the World Cup were only a fraction of what was initially predicted. Although there are many positives to hosting mass sporting events, many losses and negatives are also to be expected. The number of bids to large-scale sporting events have increased substantially over the past few decades. This is due to the assumption of the huge gains after the completion of the event. Governments or host organizations always use consulting agencies to estimate profit beforehand. However, these reports consistently come out positive regardless of event, host country, and economic or political state. This is despite the fact that many actually lose money after hosting these events. Criticism further comes from the question if this money can be used for a “greater” use with alternative projects. Ideas include development of schools and hospitals. Domestically, the National Football League states that they bring in around $400 million for the Super Bowl alone while the Major League Baseball All Star Game makes $75 million. International events, like the World Cup and Olympics that stretch for more than a single day, surpass these figures substantially. Other positives from these events include the creation of jobs and a boost to the economy. For example, after the Super Bowl XXVIII, Atlanta gained 2,736 new jobs and saw a rise in economy by $166 billion. Internationally, other than monetary gains, developing countries are able to
come out to the world and state their presence. South Africa, when hosting the 1995 Rugby World Cup, was able to make an intentional message of acceptance. Under the world’s watch, President Nelson Mandela put on the shirt of Francois Pienaar, the white South African captain, when presenting trophies at the end of the game. The message was clear: racial oppression was not to be tolerated in the country any longer. In addition, the images shown by the media often inspire tourism into the country, as the city becomes a world-class travel destination. Fans, after visiting the city, also usually decide to come back. As the 2010 World Cup wrapped up, tourism was still at a high into the country. However, overestimation for the positives of hosting these events is a usual occurrence. When estimating the direct economic benefit of the US Open of Tennis, it was announced that the number would be close to a $420 million. This figure means that one of every thirty people that visits New York City each year goes solely for the Open. Obviously these numbers are extravagantly blown out of proportion. As for the 2002 Winter Olympics held in Salt Lake City, when calculating the profit, officials did not take into consideration millions upon millions of dollars that were spent on security because these were provided by the United States government. This is a huge overstatement of profit as Greece spent close to $1.5 billion on security alone for the 2004 Olympic games. After the initial estimate, the World Cup in South Africa was expected to bring forth 159,000 new jobs and increase the gross domestic product (GSP) by R7.2 billion. At the events conclusion it was determined that actual numbers were not even close to these estimate. Further, this prediction took into account domestic residents’ expenditures at the World Cup as direct benefits to the GDP. This is inaccurate because this is simply an expenditure relocation of spending by the residents and does not actually boost the country’s economy. Further, the jobs created for the event were only seasonal and · 21 ·
made a small dent in helping unemployment rates. Another reason overestimation occurs is because of the “crowding out” idea, exactly what happened during the 2002 World Cup in South Korea. When a masssporting event occurs in a particular city, business in that city usually drops and business travelers change the dates they will visit the country. This balances out the profits made by incoming travelers for the sporting event. So essentially, no real financial profit is made at all. Another factor to consider is that although hotels raise their prices, the employees working there are still paid at the same salary. However, they have to work a great deal more during that time period. Although countries want to develop their image to world through these events, this intention often goes astray. At the Commonwealth Games in 2010, India was accused to corruption and the Mumbai terror attacks were splashed over every media source. Tourism hit a low. The Olympic games in Munich and Atlanta also caused the cities to lose face in front of the international community after terrorist attacks. For developing countries, the costs are higher to host the mass events than for the developed. In comparing the 2006 World Cup in Germany and the one in South Africa four years later, Germany was able to use existing infrastructure to accommodate the event. However, South Africa needed to build all of its stadiums from scratch and from the ground up. At the end of the World Cup, Germany converted these stadiums to further make money by hosting more sporting events, concerts, and festivals while South Africa is uncertain on the future use of these money pit stadiums. As we look to the future, we see Poland and Ukraine coming to the stage to host Euro 2012 for soccer and although many positives exist for hosting mass sporting events, they are not a guarantee of success. Many negatives and risks come hand in hand with them as countries accept the role as host. They should be considered thoroughly before placing a bid.
Cultural Sell-Out in the Middle East Middle Eastern countries looking to import Western culture by Michael Luo Class has just ended at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Several students stroll out of their lecture hall, chatting in Arabic. They walk down a block of gleaming, white, futuristic buildings and meet up with friends who go to Cornell, University College, and HEC. The students discuss their classes and the recent Champions League matches while having a picnic lunch under a grove of palm trees. This could be happening right now at Education City in Doha, Qatar, where the oil-funded Qatar Foundation has assembled a formidable collection of branches of top Western universities. Over the past few years, the small states of the Persian Gulf, in particular Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have been using their money to buy their way onto the world stage. Unlike previous rising powers who sought military or economic muscle, these petro-kingdoms have been seeking cultural influence – and they have plenty of money to back their bids. Chief among the Gulf’s imports are prestigious Western educational institutions. Starting with Virginia Commonwealth University in 1998, an impressive array of universities has opened branches in Education City, a complex on the outskirts of Doha which seeks to “support Qatar on its journey from a carbon economy to a knowledge economy by unlocking human poten-
tial. ” Abu Dhabi has welcomed the Sorbonne and New York University to its shores. An area of investment with far more global recognition is the Gulf’s fervor for football (soccer). Last year, FIFA chose Qatar as the host nation for the 2022 World Cup, with more than a bit of grumbling from other bidders about the massive budget supporting the Qatari bid. As is often the case with large modern sporting events, Qatar stands to take a massive financial loss from the Cup in exchange for the prestige and publicity, with a large number of stadiums needing to be built only to be torn down after the tournament and do-
Unlike previous rising powers who sought military or economic muscle, these petro-kingdoms have been seeking cultural influence - and they have plenty of money to back their bids.
nated to poorer countries. At club level, the sheiks of Qatar and the Emirates have staged an invasion of European football – Sheikh Mansour of Abu Dhabi took ownership of Manchester City F.C. in 2008, followed by Qatari takeovers of Paris Saint-Germain and Malaga in the past year. All three clubs are seen by many as attempting to buy sporting success by injecting a colossal amount of cash for player signings and wages. Other high-profile clubs including Barcelona and Arsenal have Middle-Eastern sponsors.
Walk down any street in downtown Doha, Abu Dhabi, or Dubai, and you will see the final major area of cultural investment – art and architecture. The stratospheric needle of the Burj Khalifa, the sail-shaped hotel Burj Al Arab, and the futuristic, sculpture-like Opus in Dubai were all paid for by Emiratis but designed and built by Westerners in a decidedly Western aesthetic. Next door in Abu Dhabi, a strange UFO-shaped building is under construction, to house the controversial Louvre Abu Dhabi, perhaps a fitting symbol of the entire cultural investment project. A highly prestigious Western institution, literally out-of-this-world design, and as always, a huge pile of money. The Louvre signed a $1.3 billion contract with Abu Dhabi, giving monopoly rights to the name “Louvre” throughout the entire Middle East, a rotating artwork exhibition deal, and assistance in developing curatorial and restorative expertise in Abu Dhabi. The plan has both heralded praise as a coup for French art and culture as well as condemnation for “selling out” to the commercialization of art, as well as perceived support of a regime with a spotty human rights record. This degree of focus on cultural investments is unprecedented in the history of the rise of nations. For most of history, rising powers devoted their resources toward military hegemony, as exemplified by Britain’s naval dominance starting in the 16th century and the pursuit of nuclear weapons by various nations over the past seventy years. More recently, with a lessened risk of war among developed nations, rising powers spread their influence economically, like with China’s recent invest-
Arts ments in Africa. The Persian Gulf states themselves have done this to a massive degree, with upwards of a trillion dollars in assets controlled by Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds . However, the cultural activities of Qatar and the UAE are truly unprecedented. When Mitsubishi purchased Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall in 1989, the Japanese investors were buying control of an existing piece of real estate on American soil . But what the Gulf states are doing now is essentially buying branding rights – trading cash for names to bring back home. Rather than simply developing their own educational and artistic institutions from the ground up, various sheikhs have found it more worthwhile to pay an existing institution millions of dollars to get a piece of the prestige and authority
built up by these Western brands over centuries. The mind-boggling sums of money involved beg the simple question, why? Are Qataris really just such big football
But what the Gulf States are doing now is essentially buying branding rights - trading cash for names to bring back home.
fans that they will spend $220 billion (150% Qatar’s annual GDP) to host the World Cup? Is this simply a case of billionaires spending their money how they wish? While certainly the investments in football clubs are more toward the recreational end of the investment
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spectrum, there are a host of practical considerations at play. The leaders of the Gulf states realized long ago that their countries could not rely on oil profits forever, thus leading to the development of their cities as finance and tourism hubs. In many ways, all of the institutional investments can be seen as semi-economic decisions. The mission statement of the Qatar Foundation specifically cites the transition away from a fossil-fuel based economy as a primary reason for the creation of Education City. Better educated workers, as well as more vibrant cultural institutions will draw more commerce as Gulf cities compete with other parts of the world as well as with each other for business. In a more devious context, the building of luxuries serves as a way to pay off the populations of dictatorships and keep
them content. The UAE and Qatar were the only two Arab countries not affected by the Arab Spring. When you look at the resources that the two regimes have offered their citizens, it is easy to see how they could
The leaders of the Gulf states realized long ago that their countries could not rely on oil profits forever...in many ways, all of the institutional investments can be seen as semi-economic decisions.
remain content under absolutist governments. From an international perspective, the most pertinent comparison to these investments is China’s recent activities. The 2008 Beijing Olympics were used as a massive welcome party to greet China’s arrival on the world stage as a major power – to exhibit China’s wealth to the world. To China, as it appears to be to Qatar and the UAE, money is of secondary concern to how much it can impress the rest of the world. All of China is structured along similar lines. The first thing any foreigner sees upon arrival in any Chinese city is a gorgeous new airport, complete with artificial waterfalls between the duty-free luxury boutiques. Connecting Shanghai’s airport to its central train station is a state-of-the-art Maglev train which hits 400 kilometers per hour. Its operation loses millions of dollars annually, but profitability is not the primary concern. Any visitor to China is sure to be impressed by the technology. For the Gulf states, their cultural projects follow the same philosophy. Their advantage lies in their tremendous resource wealth, their weakness in a lack of prestigious institutions and international reputation. Neither the Shanghai World Financial Center nor the Burj Khalifa is anywhere near full capacity, but both buildings are also more imposing symbols of economic might than any building anywhere in the West.
So what should the West think about the endeavors of the Gulf states? In some quarters, the reaction is fuelled by the natural tendency to feel pride in one’s national jewels and to recoil when outsiders gain control over them. Others raise genuine concerns about brand image. Sorbonne Abu Dhabi lecturer Nasser bin Ghaith was arrested last year , prompting concerns over civil liberties and causing other universities to question their projects in countries with far more restrictions on expression than in the West. Is the building of “islands of freedom” like the university branches simply giving students ideas that will prove dangerous to them once they leave the free environment of academia? Critics of the Louvre project are concerned that displays will be censored based on religious and moral criteria, tarnishing the image of the Louvre in Paris by association . Though the Emirati developers pledge “respect” for artistic expression, artists and dealers have complained about being shut out of art fairs in the past because of the content of their works. Though some may complain about the sale of integral parts of national identity like the Louvre or a well-supported football club, the dynamic be-
Though some may complain about the sale of integral parts of national identity...the dynamic between the Gulf and the West is as mutually beneficial a relationship as could be designed between rising powers and the establishment.
tween the Gulf and the West is about as mutually beneficial a relationship as could be designed between rising powers and the establishment. Small countries like Qatar or the UAE just don’t have the population to be able to develop a powerful military presence or a domestic economy past a certain limit. Thus, the natural course of expansion is to the cultural sphere, which is inherently less of a zero-sum game than war
or business. When one nation builds nukes, its neighbors feel less safe. When one nation gains in economic competitiveness, others lose. However, Qatar building a branch of University College in Doha doesn’t make the London campus disappear. Western institutions get large amounts of money as well as the chance to expand their brand presence overseas. The Gulf states are paying the West to spread Western culture to the Middle East – a win on all fronts for the West, particularly if the presence of Western institutions helps to plant the seeds of democracy in the Middle
A population educated in institutions where freedom of thought and expression is respected will demand those same rights everywhere in their countries.
East. A population educated in institutions where freedom of thought and expression is respected will demand those same rights everywhere in their countries. More pertinent to the West itself, placing Western institutions on such a high-profile pedestal will improve the image of the West in the eyes of the population, lessening the appeal of anti-American extremist groups. A Qatari whose parents were educated by an American university is less likely to join a terrorist group than an Afghan whose parents were killed by an American bomb. Often, the West is criticized for forcing its culture upon other countries, but here, it is being paid to do so in the Middle East. The only Westerners who could reasonably complain are the fans of football clubs unfortunate enough not to have been bought by an oil magnate with a bottomless bank account. C
Music in the Middle East
How Hip-Hop Fueled the Arab Spring by Dan Benny
“I heard them say/the revolution won’t be televised/Al Jazeera proved them wrong/Twitter has him paralyzed/80 million strong” – Omar “Offendum” Chakaki, #Jan25 Of the many factors that make up the impressive impact of the Arab Spring, the strategic use of media might be what best motivates those who wish for revolution and for definitive change in their lives. More specifically, the youth of the Middle East and North African regions are motivated by a musical component of their campaigns for revolution. From the adhans recited regularly in mosques to the impromptu songs of the troubadours in places such as Tahrir Square, music has both a motivational and a unifying effect on those who support the movement of the Arab Spring. In this modern age, however, there is a need for a musical genre that not only mobilizes activists for the struggle for democracy in those countries, but also unifies the youth living in the Middle East and North Africa to their cultural counterparts living elsewhere in the world. In particular, the musical genres of rap and hip hop encourage activists in the Middle East and North Africa
to work towards the pro-democracy movements. Although each artist has their own unique style, they share certain recurring themes, such as solidarity in basic human rights and protests against corrupt regimes. For example, Khaled M., a rapper and the son of a Libyan dissident, is well known for one of his singles, Can’t Take Our Freedom. One line in particular stands out: “Can’t take our freedom and take our soul/ you are not the one that’s in control.” Khaled M. utilized the theme of a common humanity among the people to undermine the Gaddafi regime; he also wrote this song as an open letter from Libyans within and outside the country to the Gaddafi regime, asserting that such a government has no place in the modern world. Another possible factor to Khaled M.’s success in spreading the message of his song is his dual identity. The Libyans who opposed the Gaddafi regime were probably mobilized and motivated by his song because it resonated so strongly with them. However, it resonated just as powerfully with Libyans who had fled to other countries for various reasons. Even if they had never set foot in Libya, they had the chance to change history in the country that belonged to their ancestors. In short, the fact that Khaled M. is Libyan-American is the cause for his works to be accepted and adopted by Libyan communities around the world. Perhaps the encompassing and mobilizing natures of rap and hip hop over the Arab Spring are most apparent in a collaborative work by Omar “Offen· 25 ·
dum” Chakaki (Syrian-American), The Narcicyst (Iraqi-Canadian), Sami Matar
I heard them say The revolution won’t be televised Al Jazeera proved them wrong Twitter has him paralyzed 80 million strong
(Palestinian-American), Ayah (Palestinian-Canadian), Amir Suleiman (AfricanAmerican), and MC Freeway (African-
Tahrir Square, the heart of the Arab Spring.
American). These artists from various cultural backgrounds banded together to make one song centered on the date of January 25, when the Egyptian protests, the demands for the removal of Hosni Mubarak, and the celebrations of shared humanity were at their loudest. The song itself is merely called #Jan25, hash tag included. Keeping in mind that many of the younger generation living outside of the Middle East and North Africa did not necessarily speak Arabic fluently, they created a smooth flow between the English and Arabic lyrics while simultaneously preserving the song’s meaning. In addition, Omar Offendum used the ideas of unity and action to his advantage in the song lyrics, particularly this line: “From Tunis to Khan Younis/the new moon shines bright/as The Man’s spoon was/as masses demand rights/and dispel rumors of disunity/communally removing the tumors…” Behind the influential role of hip hop and rap on the Arab Spring is the power of language and communication. For example, the Egyptians’ protests prominently featured flags and banners with the following message, translated to English: “The people want to bring down the regime.” For years, these people had little, if any, significant political activity on their own, nor were they strong enough to create a collective moral self – at least, until the rise of hip hop and rap as social mediums for the dissenters.
From Tunis to Khan Younis The new moon shines bright As The Man’s spoon was As masses demand rights And dispel rumors of disunity Communally removing the tumors Language also holds a unifying component between the protestors who speak only either English and Arabic. Even in this age of information, the differences between the two cultures in their language make it much more difficult for them to communicate ideas between each other. The musicians responsible for bilingual songs like #Jan25 kept their audience in mind during the pro-
duction phase. As a result, they have garnered many more fans from around the globe in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. Essentially, their musical works are also social commentaries for their views on the Middle East as it is today. Such social commentaries are solid examples for the individual musician to become readily recognized and involved in world politics and global issues. It has been over a year since the start of the Arab Spring, but the process of rebuilding the countries of the Middle East and North Africa will continue for quite a while. Positions of power are difficult to maintain and almost impossible to control in the Middle East and North Africa. But the people, particularly the youth, should have renewed motivation and a sense of unity. The music reflects the harsh realities that the people are forced to deal with in life, and so they respond by endeavoring to change their reality daily.
The International Affairs Association University of Pennsylvania