Evgeny Morozov in 2015
|Native name||? ?|
1984 (age 33–34)|
Soligorsk, Minsk Region, Byelorussian SSR, Soviet Union
|Alma mater||American University in Bulgaria|
Evgeny Morozov (Russian ?; Belarusian: ?; born in 1984) is a writer and researcher from Belarus who studies political and social implications of technology. He was named one of 28 most influential Europeans by Politico in 2018.
Morozov has been a visiting scholar at Stanford University, a fellow at the New America Foundation, and a contributing editor of and blogger for Foreign Policy magazine, for which he wrote the blog Net Effect. He has previously been a Yahoo! fellow at Georgetown University's Walsh School of Foreign Service, a fellow at the Open Society Institute, director of new media at the NGO Transitions Online, and a columnist for the Russian newspaper Akzia. 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's writings have appeared in various newspapers and magazines around the world, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The Economist, The Guardian, The New Yorker, New Scientist, The New Republic, Corriere Della Sera, Times Literary Supplement, Newsweek International, International Herald Tribune, Boston Review, Slate, San Francisco Chronicle,Folha de S.Paulo, and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
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 naïve and even counterproductive to the very goal of promoting democracy through the Web.
In January 2011, Morozov published his first book The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom (ISBN 978-1-58648874-1). 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, linking 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, that is, the capabilities for information control and manipulation of new media space) and Internet-centrism (the growing propensity to view all political and social change through the prism of the Internet).
In March 2013, Morozov published a second book, To Save Everything, Click Here (ISBN 1-61039138-1). Morozov criticizes what he calls "technology solutionism", the idea that, as Tim Wu put it, "a little magic dust can fix any problem". However, Wu, whose own work is severely criticized by Morozov, dismisses 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 discuss the issues. Morozov believes that technology should be debated alongside debates about politics, economics, history, and culture. Alec Ross writes in his book: "The Industries of Future" Evgeny Morozov writes neo-Luddite screeds against American technology companies, advancing the official views of Russia and Belarus."
About Internet libertarians, Morozov told The New Yorker:
They want to be "open", they want to be "disruptive", they want to "innovate". The open agenda is, in many ways, the opposite of equality and justice. They think anything that helps you to bypass institutions is, by default, empowering or liberating. You might not be able to pay for health care or your insurance, but if you have an app on your phone that alerts you to the fact that you need to exercise more, or you aren't eating healthily enough, they think they are solving the problem.
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