By now, it’s well known that the Arab Spring showed the promise of the Internet as a crucible for democratic activism. But, in the shadows, a second narrative unfolded, one that demonstrated the Internet’s equal potential for government surveillance and repression on a scale unimaginable with the old analog techniques of phone taps and informants. Today, with Gadhafi dead and a provisional government of former rebels in charge, we can begin to uncover the secret, high tech spying machine that helped the dictator and his regime cling to power.
An excellent long read in the new Wired magazine: Jamming Tripoli: Inside Moammar Gadhafi's Secret Surveillance Network. Matthieu Aikins examines how activists suffered "greatly at the hands of Gadhafi’s spy service, whose own capabilities had been heightened by 21st-century technology."