Libyans Using Coded Dating Site Messages To Avoid Government Monitoring

from the can't-stop-technology dept

A few different people have sent over this fascinating story of how Libyans have been using a popular muslim dating site to communicate about the protests in that country. It's been widely covered how various protesters around the middle east have been using tools like Facebook and Twitter to organize and communicate, and governments have been responding to that fact, often shutting off access to those sites, or at least monitoring them very, very closely. In order to avoid that, apparently some of the conversations in Libya have migrated to this dating site. The article at ABC News includes plenty of details about how people are communicating on the site, and it's worth a read. Here's a snippet:
The phrase "May your day be full of Jasmine," for example, is a coded reference to what's been called the Jasmine Revolution sweeping the region, Mahmoudi told ABC News.

He said the response, "And the same to you. I hope you will call me" meant they were ready to begin.

If the undercover "lovers" wrote "I want love," it meant "I want liberty," Mahmoudi said.

They also communicated in code the number of their comrades supporting the revolution. The five Ls in the phrase "I LLLLLove you," for example, meant they had five people with them.
Yet another reminder that no matter how hard governments try to suppress certain forms of communication, people always seek out alternative means.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: communications, dating, libya, messages, protests


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. icon
    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), 28 Feb 2011 @ 4:56am

    Mistranslation

    I left a message stating "I want love" which, when decoded (I want liberty) was discovered on this dating site by my wife, became "I want a divorce" rather than the hopeful statement of solidarity I hoped it would be.

    She apparently has contacted some LLLLLawyers.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.