If the code has been prepared. If the hilltop stations were created in advance of the emergency. If they were staffed by loyalists. If the staff had good technical training. If the people in the provinces understood the importance of the message. If they saw ways to respond. And so forth.
Here is the post-Berners-Lee, post-Snowden takeaway:
Messages are easy, easier than ever, but they go nowhere, they are useless, if the network has not been prepared. That network is a piece of open technology and a web of people already aligned with each other and inside each one of them the knowledge, attitude, and skills needed to pitch in. That’s the message I’m getting from semaphore today.