Evgeny Morozov - Quotes

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Information technology has been one of the leading drivers of globalization, and it may also become one of its major victims.

Information technology has been one of the leading drivers of globalization, and it may also become one of its major victims.

The director of the FBI has been visiting Silicon Valley companies asking them to build back doors so that it can spy on what is being said online. The Department of Commerce is going after piracy. At home, the American government wants anything but Internet freedom. ---->>>

If you use your smart toothbrush, the data can be immediately sent to your dentist and your insurance company, but it also allows someone from the NSA to know what was in your mouth three weeks ago. ---->>>

Faster roads are not always safer roads - and virtually all societies, democratic or authoritarian, prefer safety over speed, even if many of their citizens enjoy fast driving. ---->>>

Calling China's online censorship system a 'Great Firewall' is increasingly trendy, but misleading. All walls, being the creation of engineers, can be breached with the right tools. ---->>>

Creative experimentation propels our culture forward. That our stories of innovation tend to glorify the breakthroughs and edit out all the experimental mistakes doesn't mean that mistakes play a trivial role. As any artist or scientist knows, without some protected, even sacred space for mistakes, innovation would cease. ---->>>

We've never thought too deeply about the roles things like forgetting or partisanship or inefficiency or ambiguity or hypocrisy play in our political or social life. It's been impossible to get rid of them, so we took them for granted, and we kind of thought, naively, that they're always the enemy. ---->>>

In China, Internet surveillance has already become a profitable industry. In fact, a growing number of private firms eagerly assist the local police by aggregating this data and presenting it in easy-to-browse formats, allowing humans to pursue more analytical tasks. ---->>>

My hunch is that people often affiliate with causes online for selfish and narcissistic purposes. Sometimes, it may be as simple as trying to impress their online friends, and once you have fashioned that identity, there is very little reason to actually do anything else. ---->>>

The idea that the Internet favors the oppressed rather than the oppressor is marred by what I call cyber-utopianism: a naive belief in the emancipatory nature of online communication that rests on a stubborn refusal to admit its downside.

The idea that the Internet favors the oppressed rather than the oppressor is marred by what I call cyber-utopianism: a naive belief in the emancipatory nature of online communication that rests on a stubborn refusal to admit its downside.

However revolutionary it may be, the Internet still hasn't altered the basic law of human communication: Being nice to your interlocutors is a good way to start any negotiations, particularly, when being hostile is an open invitation for a cyber-fight. ---->>>

The Internet has made it much more effective and cheaper to spread propaganda. ---->>>

A vibrant civil society can challenge those in power by documenting corruption or uncovering activities like the murder of political enemies. In democracies, this function is mostly performed by the media, NGOs or opposition parties.

A vibrant civil society can challenge those in power by documenting corruption or uncovering activities like the murder of political enemies. In democracies, this function is mostly performed by the media, NGOs or opposition parties.

I want my government to do something about my privacy - I don't want to just do it on my own. ---->>>

Social media's greatest assets - anonymity, 'virality,' interconnectedness - are also its main weaknesses. ---->>>

Mobile phones are one of the most insecure devices that were ever available, so they're very easy to trace; they're very easy to tap. ---->>>

Contrary to the utopian rhetoric of social media enthusiasts, the Internet often makes the jump from deliberation to participation even more difficult, thwarting collective action under the heavy pressure of never-ending internal debate. ---->>>

In addition to their 'do no evil' motto, Googlers have always been guided by another, much less explicit philosophy: 'computational arrogance.' ---->>>

For all its shortcomings, Wikipedia does have strong governance and deliberative mechanisms; anyone who has ever followed discussions on Wikipedia's mailing lists will confirm that its moderators and administrators openly discuss controversial issues on a regular basis. ---->>>

Just as Josef K, the protagonist of Kafka's 'The Trial,' awoke one day to discover that he had become part of some unfathomable legal carnival, we, too are frequently waking to discover that the rules of the digital game have once again profoundly changed.

Just as Josef K, the protagonist of Kafka's 'The Trial,' awoke one day to discover that he had become part of some unfathomable legal carnival, we, too are frequently waking to discover that the rules of the digital game have once again profoundly changed.

This marketization of personal information is a big mistake. ---->>>

You know, anyone who wears glasses, in one sense or another, is a cyborg. ---->>>

In reality, quitting Facebook is much more problematic than the company's executives suggest, if only because users cannot extract all the intangible social capital they have generated on the site and export it elsewhere. ---->>>

The decentralized nature of online conversations often makes it easier to manipulate public opinion, both domestically and globally. Regimes that once relied on centralized systems of media control can now deliver ideological messages more subtly, with the help of little-known intermediaries like anonymous commenters on websites. ---->>>

Truly smart technologies will remind us that we are not mere automatons who assist big data in asking and answering questions. ---->>>

One possible future for WikiLeaks is to morph into a gigantic media intermediary - perhaps, even something of a clearing house for investigative reporting - where even low-level leaks would be matched with the appropriate journalists to pursue and report on them and, perhaps, even with appropriate NGOs to advocate on their causes.

One possible future for WikiLeaks is to morph into a gigantic media intermediary - perhaps, even something of a clearing house for investigative reporting - where even low-level leaks would be matched with the appropriate journalists to pursue and report on them and, perhaps, even with appropriate NGOs to advocate on their causes.

The bigger the network, the harder it is to leave. Many users find it too daunting to start afresh on a new site, so they quietly consent to Facebook's privacy bullying. ---->>>

There is this huge Roma problem in Europe. There are a lot of Romas who are discriminated against in countries like the Czech Republic or Hungary. They are an ethnic minority that in Europe everyone loves to hate. ---->>>

You actually see liberals checking 'Fox News,' if only to know what the conservatives are thinking. And you're seeing conservatives who venture into liberal sources, just to know what 'The New York Times' is thinking. ---->>>

I have no problem with technological solutions to social problems. The key question for me is, 'Who gets to implement them?' and, 'What kinds of politics of reform do technological solutions smuggle through the back door?' ---->>>

Russian young people spend countless hours online downloading videos and having a very nice digital entertainment lifestyle, which does not necessarily turn them into the next Che Guevara. ---->>>

To understand the limits and opportunities of algorithms in the context of artistic creation, we need to understand that the latter usually consists of three elements: discovery, production, and recommendation. ---->>>

We can now with Google Glasses record everything around us, and we can make sure that nothing is ever forgotten because everything is stored somewhere in Google servers or somewhere else. ---->>>

As Barbara Streisand discovered, adopting a militaristic posture against a tech-savvy mob of civil libertarians is not going to be of much help: Many of them run their own servers and blogs - and have thousands of friends on their social networks - so overzealous attempts to silence them only lead to wider dissemination of sensitive information. ---->>>

I used to work for an NGO called Transitions Online, and I was their Director of New Media. I was a very idealistic fellow who thought that he could use blogs, social networks and new media to help promote democracy, human rights and freedom of expression. ---->>>

North Korea aside, most authoritarian governments have already accepted the growth of the Internet culture as inevitable; they have little choice but to find ways to shape it in accord with their own narratives - or risk having their narratives shaped by others. ---->>>

Sleephackers go to bed with sensors on their wrists and foreheads and maintain detailed electronic sleep diaries, which they often share online. To shift between sleep phases, sleephackers experiment with various diets, room and body temperatures, and kinds of pre-sleep physical exercise. ---->>>

Would you like all of your Facebook friends to sift through your trash? A group of designers from Britain and Germany think that you might. Meet BinCam: a 'smart' trash bin that aims to revolutionize the recycling process. ---->>>

As leakers take great risks in releasing information, assuring them that they are not sacrificing themselves in vain and that their leaks would have public consequences would most likely encourage more people to leak. ---->>>

Steve Jobs was notoriously blunt about products he found wanting, but his attack on Flash - Adobe's popular technology for playing multimedia content inside a browser - was particularly vicious. Claiming it was buggy and insecure, Jobs banned it from the iPad.

Steve Jobs was notoriously blunt about products he found wanting, but his attack on Flash - Adobe's popular technology for playing multimedia content inside a browser - was particularly vicious. Claiming it was buggy and insecure, Jobs banned it from the iPad.

There is no doubt that the Internet brims with spamming, scamming and identity fraud. Having someone wipe out your hard drive or bank account has never been easier, and the tools for committing electronic mischief on your enemies are cheap and widely accessible. ---->>>

We need to start seeing privacy as a commons - as some kind of a public good that can get depleted as too many people treat it carelessly or abandon it too eagerly. What is privacy for? This question needs an urgent answer. ---->>>

In short, Google prefers a world where we consistently go to three restaurants to a world where our choices are impossible to predict. ---->>>

Apple has an opening to say, 'The tools we are selling to you will enable you to do things rather than do things for you.' Google's vision is tools that will do things for you. ---->>>

'Solutionism' for me is, above all, an unthinking pursuit of perfection - by means of technology - without coming to grips with the fact that imperfection is an essential feature of liberal democracy. ---->>>

Search without Google is like social networking without Facebook: unimaginable. ---->>>

Cloud computing is a great euphemism for centralization of computer services under one server. ---->>>

I'm rarely invited to start-up parties, but who cares about their trinkets and apps anyway? ---->>>

If you want to plan a revolution, you never do it in public - the authorities show up and arrest everyone. ---->>>

The Internet can empower groups whose aims are in fact antithetical to democracy. ---->>>

I'm not on Facebook. I have a sort of anonymous account that I check, like, once every six months every time Facebook rolls out a new feature. ---->>>

In Google's world, public space is just something that stands between your house and the well-reviewed restaurant that you are dying to get to. ---->>>

Most other documents leaked to WikiLeaks do not carry the same explosive potential as candid cables written by American diplomats. ---->>>

Technology changes all the time; human nature, hardly ever. ---->>>

There is something almost sacred about the Internet. I'm trying to secularize it. ---->>>

A faithful lifehacker would use technology to avoid dead time and move on to the entertaining, more gratifying activities as soon as possible. ---->>>

If WikiLeaks were a for-profit company, determining its real value would be a nearly impossible task. ---->>>

The Egyptian experience suggests that social media can greatly accelerate the death of already dying authoritarian regimes. ---->>>

A lot of the geeks in Silicon Valley will tell you they no longer believe in the ability of policymakers in Washington to accomplish anything. They don't understand why people end up in politics; they would do much more good for the world if they worked at Google or Facebook.

A lot of the geeks in Silicon Valley will tell you they no longer believe in the ability of policymakers in Washington to accomplish anything. They don't understand why people end up in politics; they would do much more good for the world if they worked at Google or Facebook.

I think governments will increasingly be tempted to rely on Silicon Valley to solve problems like obesity or climate change because Silicon Valley runs the information infrastructure through which we consume information. ---->>>

In business, standards establish the rules of the game, creating path dependencies as investments are made and corresponding designs are set in stone and plastic. Inferior standards can prevail due to smart marketing or industry collusion. ---->>>

As economic life relies more and more on the Internet, the potential for small bands of hackers to launch devastating attacks on the world economy is growing. ---->>>

Diplomacy is, perhaps, one element of the U.S. government that should not be subject to the demands of 'open government'; whenever it works, it is usually because it is done behind closed doors. But this may be increasingly hard to achieve in the age of Twittering bureaucrats. ---->>>

The message I'm trying to send is that technology is political, and that many decisions that look like decisions about technology actually are not at all about technology - they are about politics, and they need to be scrutinized as closely as we would scrutinize decisions about politics. ---->>>

Whether greater cybersecurity requires a greater sacrifice of our digital freedoms is an important debate that we should be having, preferably with all the facts in front of us. ---->>>

Why does crime happen? Well, you might say that it's because youths don't have jobs. Or you might say that's because the doors of our buildings are not fortified enough. Given some limited funds to spend, you can either create yet another national employment program or you can equip houses with even better cameras, sensors, and locks. ---->>>

For much of its existence, design was all about convenience. We wanted to hide technology so that users are not distracted into thinking about the tools they use. ---->>>

I spent two years in Palo Alto - what an awful, suffocating place for those of us who don't care about yoga, yogurts and start-ups - and now I have moved to Cambridge, MA - which, in many respects, is like Palo Alto but a bit snarkier. ---->>>

When we can commit a crime, we can also trigger debate. Cases go to courts. Media start covering the cases. But once you build smart environments where, if you meet a certain probabilistic profile, you won't even be allowed to board a bus, let alone commit a crime, we're perpetuating existing laws so they face no challenges or revision. ---->>>

As smart technologies become more intrusive, they risk undermining our autonomy by suppressing behaviors that someone somewhere has deemed undesirable. ---->>>

Cyberattacks have become a permanent fixture on the international scene because they have become easy and cheap to launch. Basic computer literacy and a modest budget can go a long way toward invading a country's cyberspace. ---->>>

For many oppositional movements, the Internet, while providing the opportunity to distribute information more quickly and cheaper, may have actually made their struggle more difficult in the long run. ---->>>

If you trace the history of mankind, our evolution has been mediated by technology, and without technology it's not really obvious where we would be. So I think we have always been cyborgs in this sense. ---->>>

Jean-Paul Sartre, the existentialist philosopher who celebrated the anguish of decision as a hallmark of responsibility, has no place in Silicon Valley. ---->>>

Surveillance cameras might reduce crime - even though the evidence here is mixed - but no studies show that they result in greater happiness of everyone involved. ---->>>

Technological defeatism - a belief that, since a given technology is here to stay, there's nothing we can do about it other than get on with it and simply adjust our norms - is a persistent feature of social thought about technology. We'll come to pay for it very dearly. ---->>>

The global triumph of American technology has been predicated on the implicit separation between the business interests of Silicon Valley and the political interests of Washington. ---->>>

The newspaper offers something very different from Google's aggregators. It offers a value system, an idea of what matters in the world. Newspapers need to start articulating that value. ---->>>

There are good reasons why we don't want everyone to learn nuclear physics, medicine or how financial markets work. Our entire modern project has been about delegating power over us to skilled people who want to do the work and be rewarded accordingly. ---->>>

There is this absurd assumption that the revitalisation of the public sphere is always a good thing. I think people tend to confuse 'civic' and 'civil,' and they believe that everything that is done by citizens is necessarily a good thing because you build a network, an association. ---->>>

This is the real tragedy of America's 'Internet freedom agenda': It's going to be the dissidents in China and Iran who will pay for the hypocrisy that drove it from the very beginning. ---->>>

When someone at the State Department proclaims Facebook to be the most organic tool for promoting democracy the world has ever seen - that's a direct quote - it may help in the short run by getting more people onto Facebook by making it more popular with dissidents. ---->>>

Once Google is selected to run the infrastructure on which we are changing the world, Google will be there for ever. Democratic accountability will not be prevalent. You cannot file a public information request about Google. ---->>>

Personalization can be very useful in some contexts but very harmful in others. Searching for pizza online, it's probably OK to keep showing the same pizza shop as your No. 1 choice. I don't see any big political consequences out of that. ---->>>

Making loans accessible to millions of the previously unbankable customers is a noble goal. Getting them hooked to such loans isn't. ---->>>

Much of the real computer talent today is concentrated in the private sector. ---->>>

Cybercriminals are usually driven by profit, while cyberterrorists are driven by ideology. ---->>>

Dictators aren't stupid, or regimes could be toppled easily by young people mobilizing on Facebook. ---->>>

Free open-source software, by its nature, is unlikely to feature secret back doors that lead directly to Langley, Va. ---->>>

I don't think love for technology itself breeds change. ---->>>

I'm active on Twitter, and I love my iPad and my Kindle. ---->>>

If my idea was just to maintain a certain lifestyle, there would be no need to get a Ph.D. But I do care very deeply about the idea side as well. ---->>>

Is there anything more self-defeating than using technology to free up your time - so that you can learn how to do an even better job at it? ---->>>

It is easy to be seen as either a genius or a crank. If you have a Ph.D., at least you somewhat lower the chances that you will be seen as a crank. ---->>>

It is true that authoritarian governments increasingly see the Internet as a threat in part because they see the U.S. government behind the Internet. ---->>>

Military commanders do not want to be tried for war crimes, even if those crimes are committed online. ---->>>

Revolution may not be pro-Western or democratic. ---->>>

To fully absorb the lessons of the Internet, urge the Internet-centrists, we need to reshape our political and social institutions in its image. ---->>>

WikiLeaks is what happens when the entire U.S. government is forced to go through a full-body scanner. ---->>>

My homeland of Belarus is an unlikely place for an Internet revolution. The country, controlled by authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko since 1994, was once described by Condoleezza Rice as 'the last outpost of tyranny in Europe.' ---->>>

There is this group of people who love innovation. Those people want to innovate, and they think the Internet is a wonderful tool for innovation, which is true. But you also have to remember that much of that innovation is constrained within the realities of the foreign policy. ---->>>

As befits Silicon Valley, 'big data' is mostly big hype, but there is one possibility with genuine potential: that it might one day bring loans - and credit histories - to millions of people who currently lack access to them. ---->>>

I want to prevent us reifying 'the Internet' as something to be preserved like some people want to preserve the American Constitution as it was written. ---->>>

I went to SXSW in 2011. God, that was awful. I mean, I only went because my publisher wanted me to promote the book and the organizers invited me and it seemed silly not to go, especially for a relatively unknown first-time author. This is just not my cup of tea; the fewer such events I do on an annual basis, the happier I feel. ---->>>

If China's expansion into Africa and Russia's into Latin America and the former Soviet Union are any indication, Silicon Valley's ability to expand globally will be severely limited, if only because Beijing and Moscow have no qualms about blending politics and business. ---->>>

If we don't like rent control, we ought to oppose it on political and social grounds - and not just by arguing that, thanks to smartphones and social networks, we can create new, more efficient markets for matching short-term renters with tenants. ---->>>

In part, slacktivism is what happens when the energy of otherwise dedicated activists is wasted on approaches that are less effective than the alternatives. ---->>>

It's true that virtually all new technologies do trigger what sociologists would call 'moral panics,' that there are a lot of people who are concerned with the possible political and social consequences, and that this has been true throughout the ages. ---->>>

Look at something like cooking. Now, you would hear a lot about smart kitchens and augmented kitchens. And what do those smart kitchens actually do? They police what's happening inside the kitchen. They have cameras that distinguish ingredients one from each other and that tell you that shouldn't mix this ingredient with another ingredient. ---->>>

My fear is that many institutions will eventually alter how they treat people who refuse to self-track. There are all sorts of political and moral implications here, and I'm not sure that we have grappled with any of them. ---->>>

The implications are clear: Facebook wants to build an Internet where watching films, listening to music, reading books and even browsing is done not just openly but socially and collaboratively. ---->>>

The reason why there is more pessimism about technology in Europe has to do with history, the use of databases to keep track of people in the camps, ecological disasters. ---->>>

To me, the success of the cyberactivists in Tunisia is actually very interesting, because many of them explicitly rejected any support from Washington. ---->>>

Universities ought to be aware of the degree they would want to accept funding from governments like China to work on, say, face recognition technology. ---->>>

When it is about technology, there is this tendency to just reject all criticism as being anti-technological and anti-modern. I think this is very unhealthy. ---->>>

You know, it's not a given that there is an 'online' and 'offline' world out there. When you use the telephone, you don't say that I'm entering some 'telephono-sphere.' You don't say that, and there is no obvious need to say that when you are using a modem. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality: Belarusian
Born: 06-21, 1984
Birthplace:
Die:
Occupation: Writer
Website:

Evgeny Morozov (Russian: Евгений Морозов, Belarusian: Яўгені Марозаў, born in 1984 in Soligorsk, Belarus) is a writer and researcher from Belarus who studies political and social implications of technology.(wikipedia)