Now that mobile phones are essentially small computers, instant Internet access is widely distributed. Men, women and children hold a global link with audio- and video-recording capability in their palm.
These small digital devices make everyone a potential reporter or a spy. Even the “accidental reporter” has near-instantaneous global reach.
Digital empowerment (the technology and the connective reach) also makes everyone a potential gadfly. American city councils and school boards are learning this lesson. The gadfly constituent who follows a special issue no longer needs column inches from the local newspaper to be heard. She can take on the mayor via her blog. In fact, as newspapers cut back on coverage or disappear, the gadflies become even more important as a means of challenging and investigating local government corruption, nepotism and other malfeasance.
Civilian Irregular Information Operators, Super-Empowered Individuals and Strategic Citizens are everywhere!