In a thought-provoking essay, Jon W. Anderson poses the question: Is informationalization good for the Middle East? The notion evolves through a wealth of data, fresh comparisons and insight into factors such as telecom infrastructure, the monetization of data, the extraction of value upward, and how labor is valued in an informationalized economy.
Courtney C. Radsch discusses the interplay between the economic benefits of good communications, the willingness of Arab regimes to close down the Internet and mobile phone networks when they think their survival is at stake, and the role of multinational companies in the region.
Michael Oghia and Helen Indelicato research Internet ownership in key Arab countries, noting the differences in the extent of state control and in the levels of private and foreign investment in the infrastructure.
Rami Khater sees the first signs that the United States and its allies might use their dominance of the Internet as a weapon against their enemies in the Middle East and argues that countries in the region would do well to develop indigenous Internet platforms.