The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom

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PublicAffairs, Jan 4, 2011 - Computers - 409 pages
5 Reviews
“The revolution will be Twittered!” declared journalist Andrew Sullivan after protests erupted in Iran in June 2009. Yet for all the talk about the democratizing power of the Internet, regimes in Iran and China are as stable and repressive as ever. In fact, authoritarian governments are effectively using the Internet to suppress free speech, hone their surveillance techniques, disseminate cutting-edge propaganda, and pacify their populations with digital entertainment. Could the recent Western obsession with promoting democracy by digital means backfire? In this spirited book, journalist and social commentator Evgeny Morozov shows that by falling for the supposedly democratizing nature of the Internet, Western do-gooders may have missed how it also entrenches dictators, threatens dissidents, and makes it harder—not easier—to promote democracy. Buzzwords like “21st-century statecraft” sound good in PowerPoint presentations, but the reality is that “digital diplomacy” requires just as much oversight and consideration as any other kind of diplomacy. Marshaling compelling evidence, Morozov shows why we must stop thinking of the Internet and social media as inherently liberating and why ambitious and seemingly noble initiatives like the promotion of “Internet freedom” might have disastrous implications for the future of democracy as a whole. 
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Sullywriter - LibraryThing

The recent revelations about the extent of NSA surveillance makes this book about the many paradoxes of so-called "Internet freedom" all the more relevant. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MichaelDC - LibraryThing

Interesting take on the dangers of technology worship. Essentially, Morozov writes if the Internet can be used for spreading democracy and freedom, as many politicians and talking heads say, it can ... Read full review

Contents

The Google Doctrine
1
Texting Like Its 1989
33
Orwells Favorite Lolcat
57
Censors and Sensibilities
85
Hugo Chavez Would Like to Welcome You to the Spinternet
113
Why the KGB WantsYou to Join Facebook
143
Why Kierkegaard Hates Slacktivism
179
Cultural Contradictions of Internet Freedom
205
Internet Freedoms and Their Consequences
245
Making History More Than a Browser Menu
275
The Wicked Fix
301
Acknowledgments
321
Bibliography
325
Index
395
About the Author
409
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Evgeny Morozov is a contributing editor to Foreign Policy and Boston Review and a Schwartz Fellow at the New American Foundation. Morozov is currently also a visiting scholar at Stanford University. He was previously a Yahoo! Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University and a fellow at the Open Society Institute in New York, where he remains on the board of the Information Program. Morozov's writings have appeared in the Economist, Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, the International Herald Tribune, the Boston Globe, Slate, Le Monde, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the San Francisco Chronicle, Prospect, Dissent, and many other publications.

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