‘Authoritarian Governments Have Immensely Benefited From The Web’ (Interview)

An interesting (and not too long) interview with Morozov about the internet and its role/function in forming political social groupings/identifiying social sentiment/political trends/upheavals etc. in autoritarian countries (but also “in general”).

Interviewer:
“One of your chapters is called “Why The KGB Wants You To Join Facebook.” Why does the KGB want us to join Facebook?

Morozov:
Part of the argument I’m making in the book is that authoritarian governments have immensely benefited from the web, and I point to three features. One of them is propaganda; one of them is new ways of censorship; and one of them is increased surveillance, more sophisticated surveillance.

The reason why the KGB wants you to join Facebook is because it allows them to, first of all, learn more about you from afar. I mean, they don’t have to come and interrogate you, and obviously you disclose quite a bit. It allows them to identify certain social graphs and social connections between activists. Many of these relationships are now self-disclosed by activists, by joining various groups. You can actually go and The reason why the KGB wants you to join Facebook is because it allows them to, first of all, learn more about you from afar.” […]

Interviewer:
“If you were an activist now in an authoritarian country, what, if anything, would you be doing on the Internet?”

Morozov:
[…] All authoritarian countries are different. If I were in Russia, I would be doing things which are completely different from what I would be doing in Iran. To me, the assumption that authoritarian countries are alike and that all of them need more or less similar things which you can then reduce to the concept of Internet freedom is just simplistic and probably counterproductive.”

—> speaking about M’s book: “The Net Delusion: The Dark Side Of Internet Freedom”
http://www.rferl.org/content/interview_morozov_internet_democracy_promotion/2284105.html

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