Right to View the Internet (Google Earth) Changed Way of Life in Kingdom of Bahrain (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comments (2)

One of the rights we as Americans take for granted is the right to view virtually any website we want on the Internet. This is not the case in Bahrain. Bahrain a borderless island in the Persian Gulf that is the smallest Arab country.

Recently the software program Google Earth has played a huge role in deciding how the elections in Bahrain played out. For many years the general Shi'ia population knew that the Sunni royal family owned enormous fortunes and lived egregiously beyond even the most far reaching dreams of the common Shi'ia population.

With the introduction of Google Earth to the Internet the public eye grew in Bahrain gained immediate access to the utterly fantastic lives of the Royals’. They Googled the royal compounds and this eye in the sky helped the general public see beyond huge walls to what was once hidden and secretly guarded. Needless to say, they were stunned by what they saw.

The royal family took immediate action and tried to outlaw Google Earth from its country. This only worsened the situation as they were quickly confronted with a massive uproar that was so severe, and the political ramifications equally as severe, that they had no choice but to rescind that decision. The end result is resounding defeat for the parties loyal to the Khalifa royal family and victory for the radical Shi’ia Islamist parties.

Isn't it amazing how such a seemingly harmless technology that lets us see where we live from a birds-eye view could have such political ramifications? I wonder how many other similar examples are out there involving Google Earth and its global effects.

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2 Comments - Post your comment below.

Feb. 12, 2007

I wonder how many other countries have experienced the "Google effect" like this one? I would be interested in hearing other examples. Great article!

Chad Lapa
Feb. 12, 2007

Good question Carla! I am wondering the same thing. If anyone reading this article knows of other examples of this, please share!

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