The Net Delusion by Evgeny Morozov
The Dark Side of Internet Freedom

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Synopsis

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“The revolution will be Twittered!” declared journalist Andrew Sullivan after protests erupted in Iran. But as journalist and social commentator Evgeny Morozov argues in The Net Delusion, the Internet is a tool that both revolutionaries and authoritarian governments can use. For all of the talk in the West about the power of the Internet to democratize societies, regimes in Iran and China are as stable and repressive as ever. Social media sites have been used there to entrench dictators and threaten dissidents, making it harder—not easier—to promote democracy.

Marshalling a compelling set of case studies, The Net Delusion shows why the cyber-utopian stance that the Internet is inherently liberating is wrong, and how ambitious and seemingly noble initiatives like the promotion of “Internet freedom” are misguided and, on occasion, harmful.

 

About Evgeny Morozov

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Evgeny Morozov (@evgenymorozov) is the author of The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom, a New York Times Notable Book of 2011 and winner of Harvard's Kennedy School's 2012 Goldsmith Book Prize. He is a contributing editor to The New Republic. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Economist, the Wall Street Journal, the London Review of Books, and many other publications. His monthly column comes out in Slate, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany), El Pais (Spain), Corriere della Sera (Italy), and several other newspapers. He was born in Belarus.
 
Published February 28, 2012 by PublicAffairs. 432 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Computers & Technology, Science & Math, Law & Philosophy, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Net Delusion

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It’s a hopeless battle, but despite the immeasurable barriers to Internet-driven democracy, Morozov still believes the Internet can be used to promote democracy, as long as new policies are unbiased, realistic and cognizant of the connections between the Internet, local political contexts and for...

Jan 04 2011 | Read Full Review of The Net Delusion: The Dark Si...

The New York Times

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A technology skeptic argues there is nothing inherently liberating about social networking. Indeed, the opposite may be true.

Feb 04 2011 | Read Full Review of The Net Delusion: The Dark Si...

The Guardian

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Since the so-called "Twitter revolution" after the 2009 Iranian elections (debunked recently in Annabelle Sreberny's and Gholam Khiabany's Blogistan), it has become increasingly common to suppose that the internet will inevitably spread democracy around the world.

Jan 29 2011 | Read Full Review of The Net Delusion: The Dark Si...

The Guardian

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On 21 January 2010, US secretary of state Hillary Clinton made a speech at the delightfully named Newseum – America's leading "interactive museum of news" – announcing "internet freedom" as a core foreign policy concern.

Jan 09 2011 | Read Full Review of The Net Delusion: The Dark Si...

The Wall Street Journal

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Last week, in a attempt to put down mounting street protests, Egypt's government shut down the country's Internet service providers for several days.

Feb 05 2011 | Read Full Review of The Net Delusion: The Dark Si...

The Economist

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In this gleefully iconoclastic book, Evgeny Morozov takes a stand against this “cyber-utopian” view, arguing that the internet can be just as effective at sustaining authoritarian regimes.

Jan 06 2011 | Read Full Review of The Net Delusion: The Dark Si...

The Independent

Indeed, his central caution is that the unthinking Western promotion of cyber-tools as enablers and organisers of dissent under authoritarian regimes - sometimes driven by Cold War nostalgia, sometimes by a lazy and mistaken search for "diplomatic efficiency" - can sometimes make things worse.

Jan 07 2011 | Read Full Review of The Net Delusion: The Dark Si...

The Telegraph

Why then have so many people – of wildly divergent .

Jan 09 2011 | Read Full Review of The Net Delusion: The Dark Si...

Socialist Review

This view was recently espoused by BBC foreign affairs correspondent - and liberation expert - John Simpson, who stated, "In the end Egypt's 'internet generation' just would not put up with a dictator" - as if young Egyptians had found out about food prices, low wages, unemployment and state oppr...

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London School of Economics

Hillary Clinton may have notably argued that “internet freedom” is vital to the spread of democratic values throughout the world, and that given the freedom to use online networking tools people “will use them to advance democracy and human rights”, but Morozov takes up the exact opposite view, p...

Jan 16 2011 | Read Full Review of The Net Delusion: The Dark Si...

Boston Review

As a network, the Internet functions with two kinds of computers: the computers (like the one I am using to write this article) that use the services of the network to communicate with one another at the edges of the network, and the computers that help to implement the network (the servers and o...

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