Evgeny Morozov Curbs Web Enthusiasm: ‘The KGB used to torture in order to get this data. Now it’s all available online’
When Iranians rose up and marched against their rulers, people around the world felt they were there. Facebook bristled with video from the streets of Tehran. Revolutionary-green avatars sprouted across the Web. Commentators heralded a coming “Twitter Revolution.”
The euphoria was pervasive — until a radical skeptic punctured the conventional wisdom.
Evgeny Morozov, a virtually unknown writer and sometime technology advocate, launched his counteroffensive three years ago at the annual TED ideas conference.
What Morozov told the crowd at Oxford University amounted to heresy in some circles: Beware of “iPod liberalism … the assumption that every Iranian and Chinese person that happens to love their iPod will also love liberal democracy.”
Don’t forget that the Internet can be used not just to empower freedom fighters but to hunt them down through their online presence.
“The KGB used to torture in order to get this data. Now it’s all available online,” Morozov deadpanned.