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.

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


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  1. icon
    Sarah Black (profile), 28 Feb 2011 @ 4:52am

    I guess they moved from adding encrypted messages in digital images (on Flikr & Picasa) to code-words & phrases on dating sites.

    Little Orphan Annie, with her decoder ring, would be proud of these guys!

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