Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Why Twitter Didn’t Go Down: The State Department Told It Stay Up (But Not Forever!)

Skeptical about the impact of Twitter on the unrest in Tehran? The State Department isn’t: It asked the service to reschedule its planned maintenance/outage so Iranians could use it to communicate in and outside of the country.

Reuters: “‘We highlighted to them that this was an important form of communication,’ said the [unnamed U.S.] official of the conversation the department had with Twitter at the time of the disputed Iranian election. He declined further details.”

CNN: “Senior officials say the State Department asked Twitter to refrain for going down for periodic scheduled maintenance at this critical time to ensure the site continues to operate. Bureau’s and offices across the State Department, they say, are paying very close attention to Twitter and other sites to get information on the situation in Iran.”

UPDATE: Even the State Department can’t keep Twitter up forever. It’s nighttime in Tehran and Twitter is down — the company’s status blog dedicated to stuff like this indicates it should be shuttered from about 5pm tp 6:30 pm eastern time. UPDATE2: It’s back!


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik