The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom

Front Cover
PublicAffairs, Jan 4, 2011 - Computers - 409 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. 

What people are saying - Write a review

THE NET DELUSION: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom

User Review  - Kirkus

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


The Google Doctrine
Texting Like Its 1989
Orwells Favorite Lolcat
Censors and Sensibilities
Hugo Chavez Would Like to Welcome You to the Spinternet
Why the KGB Wants You to Join Facebook
Why Kierkegaard Hates Slacktivism
Cultural Contradictions of Internet Freedom
Internet Freedoms and Their Consequences
Browser Menu
About the Author

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2011)

Evgeny Morozov is a contributing editor to Foreign Policy and Boston Review and a Schwartz Fellow at the New American Foundation. Morozov is currently also a visiting scholar at Stanford University. He was previously a Yahoo! Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University and a fellow at the Open Society Institute in New York, where he remains on the board of the Information Program. Morozov's writings have appeared in the Economist, Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, the International Herald Tribune, the BostonGlobe, Slate, Le Monde, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the San FranciscoChronicle, Prospect, Dissent, and many other publications.

Bibliographic information