Author warns of Russia's and China's 'Spinternet'
Posted in: Legal, Privacy & Security at 11/01/2011 16:51
In 'The Net Delusion,' Evgeny Morozov describes how China, Russia, Iran -- and even the U.S. -- pay bloggers to push their views
Is the Internet, with its blogs, tweets, e-mail, Web and social networking sites, a force to change places such as Iran, China, Vietnam and Russia into Western-style democracies with the West's ideas about freedom of expression and political rights?
While that's an article of faith among much of the Western media, academic and political elite, says Evgeny Morozov in his provocative new book "The Net Delusion," he calls this "cyber-utopianism, a quasi-religious belief in the power of the Internet to do supernatural things." The more realistic view, he counters, is that the Internet has become an effective tool that authoritarian governments are artfully using to propagandize their citizenry, crush dissidents and stifle freedom of speech. And Morozov cautions that Internet titans such as Google, Twitter and Yahoo, companies with American roots, are increasingly regarded with suspicion abroad as possible tools of the U.S. government.