This one satisfied the conspiracy theorist in me. I always kinda thought of the internet as the printing press of our age; something that would educate, liberate and connect. I guess I never gave enough thought to how governments could take advantage of so much information. I’ve always considered government control of the internet as just surveillance with a kind of shut-off switch. Evgeny Morozov, however, talked about how governments insipidly use tactics like selective denial of service attacks (which they can easily deny involvement in), targeted censorship and selective censorship. Sudanese president Al-Bashir extended electricity to areas of known loyalists so that they could combat opposition via Facebook. Further, Morozov believes that our naivete leads to false assumptions regarding social media’s role in democratizing that then leads to faulty policy.
So I can’t say I entirely share his pessimism, but it did make me think.