Synopses & Reviews
“The revolution will be Twittered!” declared journalist Andrew Sullivan after protests erupted in Iran in June 2009. Yet for all the talk about the democratizing power of the Internet, regimes in Iran and China are as stable and repressive as ever. In fact, authoritarian governments are effectively using the Internet to suppress free speech, hone their surveillance techniques, disseminate cutting-edge propaganda, and pacify their populations with digital entertainment. Could the recent Western obsession with promoting democracy by digital means backfire? In this spirited book, journalist and social commentator Evgeny Morozov shows that by falling for the supposedly democratizing nature of the Internet, Western do-gooders may have missed how it also entrenches dictators, threatens dissidents, and makes it harder—not easier—to promote democracy. Buzzwords like “21st-century statecraft” sound good in PowerPoint presentations, but the reality is that “digital diplomacy” requires just as much oversight and consideration as any other kind of diplomacy. Marshaling compelling evidence, Morozov shows why we must stop thinking of the Internet and social media as inherently liberating and why ambitious and seemingly noble initiatives like the promotion of “Internet freedom” might have disastrous implications for the future of democracy as a whole.
The revolution will be Twittered!” declared journalist Andrew Sullivan after protests erupted in Iran. Yet for all the talk about the liberalizing force of the internet, regimes in Iran and China are as stable and repressive as ever. In fact, authoritarian regimes are effectively using the internet to suppress free speech and democracy. Whats more, the latest research shows that greater access to information pacifies a population as much as it incites it to revolution. If we in the West are to promote liberal ideals, well have to do more than fund Facebook.
In this book, blogger and social commentator Evgeny Morozov tackles these issues with relentless energy and analytical savvy. Marshalling a compelling set of case studies, he shows why we must stop thinking of the internet and social media as instant cures for repression, and how, in some cases, they can even threaten democracy.
Morozov examines how the Internet is being used not only to incite revolutionin repressive regimes such as Iran and China, but also how those same regimesare effectively using the Internet to suppress free speech and democracy.
An investigation into how the Pentagon, NSA, and other government agencies are uniting with corporations to fight in cyberspace, the next great theater of war.
A surprising, page-turning account of how the wars of the future are already being fought today
The United States military currently views cyberspace as the “fifth domain” of warfare (alongside land, air, sea, and space), and the Department of Defense, the National Security Agency, and the CIA all field teams of hackers who can, and do, launch computer virus strikes against enemy targets. In fact, as @WAR shows, U.S. hackers were crucial to our victory in Iraq. Shane Harris delves into the frontlines of America’s new cyber war. As recent revelations have shown, government agencies are joining with tech giants like Google and Facebook to collect vast amounts of information. The military has also formed a new alliance with tech and finance companies to patrol cyberspace, and Harris offers a deeper glimpse into this partnership than we have ever seen before. Finally, Harris explains what the new cybersecurity regime means for all of us, who spend our daily lives bound to the Internet — and are vulnerable to its dangers.
About the Author
SHANE HARRIS is the author of The Watchers: The Rise of America's Surveillance State, which won the New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism and was named one of the best books of 2010 by the Economist. Harris won the 2010 Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on National Defense. He is currently Senior Correspondent at the Daily Beast, covering national security, intelligence, and cyber security. He is also an ASU fellow at New America, where he researches the future of war. Previously, he was senior writer at the Washingtonian, and his work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Slate, the Daily Beast, the Washington Post, and numerous other publications. He has provided analysis and commentary for CNN, NPR, the BBC, and many other media organizations and radio stations.
Table of Contents
A Note on Sources ix
The First Cyber War 3
Building the Cyber Army 39
The Internet Is a Battlefield 69
The Enemy Among Us 83
The Mercenaries 103
Cops Become Spies 123
“Another Manhattan Project” 139
Buckshot Yankee 146
The Secret Sauce 153
The Corporate Counterstrike 171
Spring Awakening 187
The Business of Defense 198
At the Dawn 216