Information Age an Uneasy Time in Baghdad

City residents free to surf the Web but scared to leave their homes
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2008 9:18 AM CDT
Iraqis are now free to buy DVDs of foreign films, but the climate of fear and violence means many don't feel free to leave their homes at night.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The electronics business is booming in Baghdad five years after the US-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein's regime, the LA Times reports. Repressive controls on foreign TV and Internet access are gone and shoppers are free to buy DVDs of the latest Hollywood movies—but too often, they are investing in home entertainment because they are afraid to go out.

Sectarian killing has slowed since the surge, but has far from vanished. The fear of bombings, kidnappings, and religious extremists keeps the mood in Baghdad grim and contrasts sharply with the hope many felt in the early days of post-Saddam Iraq. "We thought: 'We'll be able to go out and talk to anyone. We'll be free.' It didn't turn out that way," a computer shop owner said. (Read more Baghdad stories.)