Mr. Hirsch said that the idea for TXTmob evolved from conversations about how police departments were adopting strategies to counter large-scale marches that converged at a single spot.
While preparing for the 2004 political conventions in New York and Boston, some demonstrators decided to plan decentralized protests in which small, mobile groups held rallies and roamed the streets.
“The idea was to create a very dynamic, fluid environment,” Mr. Hirsch said. “We wanted to transform areas around the entire city into theaters of dissent.”
Tad Hirsch, who created a system that allowed users to form networks and transmit SMS messages to hundreds or thousands of mobile telephones called TXTmob, received a subpoena to hand over all remaining records of communications using the system in August 2004 to organise protests against the Republican Convention.
In the Philippines, large scale demonstrations organized via cell phones and SMS were a major factor in forcing President Joseph Estrada to resign, thus bringing about change without large-scale violence. And this is the most known example amongst many others.
Question is whether these measures to interrogate new media / technologies with the aim of vitiating their subversive power can really, over the long term, make any real impact in a world where tech innovation is growing too fast for the parochialism of Governments to contain.