The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom

Front Cover
PublicAffairs, Feb 28, 2012 - Computers - 448 pages
"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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THE NET DELUSION: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom

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In his debut, Foreign Policy contributing editor Morozov pulls the Internet into sharp focus, exposing the limits of its inner logic, its reckless misuse and the dangerous myopia of its champions.The ... 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 Wants You to Join Facebook
143
Why Kierkegaard Hates Slacktivism
179
Cultural Contradictions of Internet Freedom
205
Internet Freedoms and Their
245
Browser Menu
275
Afterword to the Paperback Edition
321
Acknowledgments
341
Index
415
About the Author
429
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

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 senior 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.

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