Evgeny Moroz steps onstage and says: “As an Eastern European, I was brought in to play the pessimist this morning. Bear with me.” His short early-morning talk laid out some uncomfortable truths about the way repressive governments are using the Internet — challenging the assumption that the web is bringing more openness and democracy:
@TEDGlobal We thought the internet could do what missiles could do: promote democracy in difficult places
@TEDGlobal We assume that every single Iranian or Chinese who loves his iPod will also love liberal democracy.
@Casablanca “If you give people enough connectivity, and enough devices that can connect, then democracy will inevitably follow” – Evgeny Morozov
Instead, he points out ways that repressive regimes are harnessing local networks to track local activitists, such as:
@kokoe2 “Authoritarian Deliberation” — Governments encourage bloggers to discuss their world.
@frogdesign: How can we empower political dissidents with social media and the Internet without endangering them?
@ruthannharnisch: Morozov says Spin + Internet = Spinternet. Excellent coinage, yes?
@kevglobal Morozov: #TED Censorship is less effective than spin. Only way to control message is to try to spin it.