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How activists can stream live videos with their phones

One of the very first posts I did for this site was about GandhiCam, a cool application for Blackberry phones that automatically sends any image, audio or video that you take to your email or an email address of your choosing. The idea was developed to allow activists to immediately get content off their phones before the police could confiscate them, as had happened during the G20 protests in London.

While the folks behind that project have created a new beta version of their app that is compatible with phones that run on Google Android software, one company has already taken the idea a step further. As Caitlan Turner explains at TechChange:

Compatible with 260 mobile phone models, Bambuser allows users to broadcast live from their mobile device. As footage is taken, Bambuser streams it directly to social network platforms, blogs, and the Bambuser site among others.

Bambuser first started to pick up popularity during the 2010 elections in Egypt when no international observers were allowed to monitor the election process. On election day more than 10,000 videos were streamed from Egypt; Eriksson saying “the purpose was to document any violence or attempts to prevent people from voting.” Having already proved useful once in Egypt, Bambuser took center stage again during the unrest in Egypt, the Middle East and North Africa. Mobile phones were no doubt important for organizing, communicating and the dissemination of information. Wise to the value of mobile phones, governments and police forces began to confiscate as many mobile phones as possible – the thought being that without a phone, it would be impossible to upload the footage that is stored on it. This is where Bambuser became a very useful application; it enabled users to stream in real time, to by-pass the step of uploading stored data. Skipping this one step has given activists and protestors a means to continue transmitting information in a timely and efficient manner.