For a long time, Evgeny Morozov believed that blogs and social networks had the potential to bring down authoritarian regimes and dictatorships. Today, he finds this form of technooptimism to be nonsense and instead focuses on the corresponding risks and threats. It is almost as if he anticipated the Snowdon leaks when he warned that the vast amounts of data and digital footprints we leave behind daily can also be used and implemented.
The acceptance and ever stronger demand that personal information and data be used as currency by businesses and state authorities has become a sad fact of recent times. The erosion of privacy is the collateral damage of the unrestrained information-economy, according to Morozov. He also sharply criticises the notion that all problems simply require a technical solution, such as an app to stop climate change, or that politics can be shaped more democratically by default. Evgeny Morozov provides a counterbalance to this “solutionism” and the endless aspiration for perfection.
He’s a provocative thinker and makes his audience call into question comfortable, or even optimistic, notions and positions. His aim is to highlight the dangers of current developments and warn us about the consequences of our behaviours.
His books, "The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom" and "To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism", have caused enthusiastic, as well as sceptical, reactions. After having opened re:publica in 2010, having had to cancel his attendance in 2013, Evgeny Morozov will be at re:publica 2014 and discuss his perspectives on today's current state of affairs.