I’ve written before about the importance of “raw data” in any revolutionary or military struggle and while that may seem obvious the means of collecting and sorting through such information is far from so. While the Snowden revelations have shocked many (although few have altered their online behaviour despite what they learned) they are only the storefront of a far deeper development. The Irish journalist Ed Moloney has reminded me via his blog of a video from the TED convention last September that I meant to post but which slipped my mind. It highlights the importance of “metadata” and how building a web of interactions is frequently the first step in mapping any organisation or movement. Given the frequently amateurish nature of the current generation of would-be Irish revolutionaries versus some of their contemporaries elsewhere in the world it makes you wonder why exactly the authorities in Ireland and Britain are having such a hard time closing down what is still an embryonic insurgency on the edges of mainstream Republicanism (though they are not exactly failing either).