Global information as a double-edged sword: Activism versus Surveillance: In the past ten years we have witnessed the dual and contrad
ictory power of global information flows when it comes to activism and surveillance. In authoritarian and democratic regimes alike, new technological platforms have democratized social movements, whilst facilitating an emergence of more comprehensive and sophisticated government and commercial control over society. Whereas most of the current literature focuses on the dichotomy of democracy versus authoritarianism when it comes to new media technologies and practices, we believe there is a complex array of interactions and outcomes that lie in between the spectrum of Internet utopia and “net delusion.” Therefore, we examine contestation between activists and power-holders, largely based in developing and non-Western contexts, as a process rather than as an outcome. In this research, we link up with scholars examining activism surrounding the environment, water, gender equality, freedom of expression and corruption, amongst other issues. We analyze how global information have empowered but also undermined movements surrounding these issues globally, and especially in repressive political contexts.