[IWAR] societal infowar tactic: guerrilla penpals

From: Mark Hedges (hedgesat_private)
Date: Tue Feb 17 1998 - 09:29:02 PST

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    One of the problems in relations with communist countries like China is
    they close off communications to a large part of the world. Even though
    China is changing, I believe you'll agree that there's still a problem
    getting information and establishing communications.
    The concept of a penpal program is good for peace; it gets average people
    to think that maybe the people on the other side of the line are a lot like
    them. Unfortunately, an official penpal program is difficult to authorize
    and run, and requires such cumbersome things as agreements between
    It seems a guerrilla penpal program would be more effective. Somehow
    acquire a large number of e-mail addresses of Chinese citizens, by probing
    their ISP's, or buying mailing lists or something. I don't know; I don't
    have a clue how to get that. Then, get some mailing lists of people here in
    the states and Europe and "free" countries. Give each person in set B an
    address in set A and say, "This person wants to be your penpal. Send them
    an e-mail and say hello!"
    Language barriers and apathy would make the effectiveness ratio very low,
    but using a Great Database of many hundreds of thousands of randomly
    selected penpals, we might see a substantial communication occur. It would
    be useful because communications between the two countries would bypass
    heads of state, politicians, business elite and those who have the power to
    restrict "official" communications. It could work for other countries
    besides China, too.
    Eventually, it's going to happen anyway. People in every country will
    interact in chat rooms and message boards and through e-mail with other
    people because of common interest, not because of geographic location. To
    me, it seems like speeding up the process with particular countries might
    be very useful.

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