Thursday, March 22, 2012
A different view of the Internet
I went to an interesting talk the other day by Evgeny Morozov, author of the recent book, "The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom." Morozov is a researcher from Belarus who studies the social and political impact of the Internet and is currently a visiting scholar at Stanford. He challenges the optimistic view of those who say that the Internet will always have a liberalizing and democratizing effect on authoritarian regimes, and argues that it can just as easily be used as a tool for political repression, public surveillance and the spread of extremist propaganda. He calls the U.S. government's "Internet Freedom Agenda" naive and maybe even counterproductive in promoting democracy through the Web. He has a lot of ideas that are well worth considering, especially since they're seldom discussed.