[Air-L] Before Iran, Tunisia and Egypt, the Soviet coup attempt

Larry Press lpress at csudh.edu
Wed Feb 2 05:30:56 PST 2011

> My organization supplied the models to the Usenet in Moscon from 1989 to
> 1995...

What sort of models do you refer to?

 > We were on the ground at a conference in Prague when that coup
 > attempt occurred.

By coincidence, I had just the week before helped organize and 
participated in a conference on HCI.  The Relcom folks were not at that 
conference, but I was able to take time to meet them, see the office and 
go to a very nice party with them :-).  When the coup attempt occurred 
the next week, I was back in the US, but in a perfect position to relay 
traffic from the US to them and from them to the US.  The most "famous" 
thing that came out was Yeltsin's speech while standing on a tank in 
front of the White House.

> We were in constant contact with our folks in Moscow who was busy
> organizing the events without interference.

Do you have any of that traffic stored away?  If so, could we get it for 
the archive at SUNY?

> The new media is always under the radar of the old regime.

It sure was in that case.  Within a few hours, they were operating on 
laptops out of their homes, so it would have been hard to stop even if 
they had been visible.  They were using dial-ip links in those days.

> Our new media have given us the illusion of freedom and openness while
> actually giving the dictators a free hand to track and identify the
> opposition leadership and all their friends.

It is surely a two-edged sword.  I just wrote a report on the Internet 
in Cuba, and devoted a section to pointing out that the Internet not 
only poses a "dictator's dilemma," but can be a valuable tool for a 
dictator (or terrorist).


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