Wired News has a pretty cool little piece on the growth of IM and voice chat in Iraq. It turns out that IM was forbidden by the old regime: someone who paid a cab driver to smuggle in a copy of AIM said ,”If the government knew what I was doing, I am sure they would kill me, because they would think I was a spy.”

Apparently there’s also a growing market for village cell phones, along the lines of the Grameen Bank “phone ladies” (also described here)– only this time with cell phones looted from the government. Privatization at its finest!

[thanks to Bill C]