Sunday, November 06, 2005

France Pioneered This 

France is nearing two weeks of rioting that is now spreading around the country from Parisian suburbs where it started. This paragraph in a news story caught my attention.

A national police spokesman, Patrick Hamon, said there appeared to be no coordination among gangs. But he said youths were communicating by cell phone text messages or e-mails _ arranging meetings and warning each other about police operations.

This kind of sub-rosa communication was pioneered in France more than 20 years ago with the Minitel system -- an early e-mail before the internet. French university students back then coordinated demonstrations in multiple cities by Minitel. Today's rioting youth learned well from their elders.


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