This week, a powerful Israeli Orthodox rabbi called on his followers to shun their iPhones, claiming it was forbidden to own a smartphone and demanding that those who did burn them.
The prohibition comes on the heels of a push by Israel's growing ultra-Orthodox minority to limit exposure to the internet, which it believes could steer its followers away from traditional values.
But just how dangerous can smartphones be?
The answer: quite dangerous – if you're trying to stop the spread of basic freedoms and democracy.
Smartphones, by providing widespread, easy access to the internet, social media and cameras, are a key tool for democracy movements.
In 2010, Tunisians captured footage of protests and government oppression and broadcast them for the world to see on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Similar protests sprang up in Egypt, Libya and across the region – and were chronicled by ordinary citizens, who were able to break the government blackout in places in Egypt and stream events taking place in real time. In fact, in places like Syria the primary source of information coming from the ground has been citizen journalists, many of whom have been funded by Avaaz members worldwide.
But internet freedom isn't a given. As the web plays a more and more central role in people-powered movements, online activists, citizen journalists and bloggers have come under intensifying attack by authorities. Which is why it's up to us to ensure that the internet remains free and accessible to all.
Read more: Check out the Guardian's analysis of what the growth of citizen journalism will mean for the world.
Sources: Huffington Post, Avaaz, the Guardian