Evgeny Morozov wants to know how the Internet has changed the conduct of global affairs, because it certainly has ... but perhaps not in all the ways we think.
Writer Evgeny Morozov studies the political and social aspects of the Internet. Right now, he's working on a book about the Internet's role in politics -- and especially how the Web influences civic engagement and regime stability in authoritarian, closed societies or in countries "in transition."
Morozov writes the much-quoted Foreign Policy blog Net.Effect, and is known for debunking -- with facts, figures and sound research -- myths and media-bandwagon assumptions about the impact of the Internet and mobile technologies on politics and society. We all want to be cyber-optimists, assuming that free societies necessarily follow from free data. Morozov is careful to say that it's not quite that simple: yes, social change can be empowered by new tech, but so can the policies of repressive regimes. Morozov attended TEDGlobal 2009 as one of 25 TEDGlobal Fellows.
"Morozov's bookmarks on del.icio.us are one of the places I look for inspiration when I'm feeling burned out on blogging, writing or thinking ... "Ethan Zuckerman, global blogger
“[People] somehow assume that the Internet is going to be the catalyst of change that will push young people into the streets, while in fact it may actually be the new opium for the masses which will keep the same people in their rooms downloading pornography.”
“In the past it would take you weeks, if not months, to identify how Iranian activists connect to each other. Now you know how they connect to each other by looking at their Facebook page. KGB … used to torture in order to get this data.”
“iPod liberalism [is] where we assume that every single Iranian or Chinese who happens to have and love his iPod will also love liberal democracy.”
“When we get the remote Russian village online, what will get people to the Internet is not going to be reports from Human Rights Watch. It’s going to be pornography, ‘Sex and the City,’ or maybe funny videos of cats.”