Evgeny Morozov

to save everything

Evgeny Morozov (b. 1984) is a Belarusian writer and researcher who studies political and social implications of technology. In 2009 he was chosen as a TED fellow where he spoke about how the Web influences civic engagement and regime stability in authoritarian, closed societies or in countries ‘in transition.’

Morozov expresses skepticism about the popular view that the Internet is helping to democratize authoritarian regimes, arguing that it could also be a powerful tool for engaging in mass surveillance, political repression, and spreading nationalist and extremist propaganda. He has also criticized what he calls ‘The Internet Freedom Agenda’ of the US government, finding it naive and even counterproductive to the very goal of promoting democracy through the Web.

In 2011, Morozov published his first book ‘The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom.’ In addition to exploring the impact of the Internet on authoritarian states, the book investigates the intellectual sources of the growing excitement about the liberating potential of the Internet and links it to the triumphalism that followed the end of the Cold War. Morozov also argues against the ideas of what he calls cyber-utopianism (the inability to see the Internet’s darker side) and Internet-centrism (the growing propensity to view all political and social change through the prism of the Internet).

In 2013, Morozov published a second book, ‘To Save Everything, Click Here,’ a critique of ‘technology solutionism’: the idea that, as Columbia Law professor Tim Wu put it, ‘a little magic dust can fix any problem.’ But Wu, whose own work is severely critiqued by Morozov in ‘To Save Everything,’ goes on to dismiss Morozov’s book as ‘rife with such bullying and unfair attacks that seem mainly designed to build Morozov’s particular brand of trollism’ and ‘a missed opportunity’ to actually discuss the issue.

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