The International Herald Tribune and the British The Sunday Times published an article Stenfardkaga University researcher Evgeny Morozov on modern methods of monitoring the world wide web. In an article in the American edition, he writes about how the Internet is monitored in Russia, the British newspaper said on broader international experience.
Internet — is not only a force for liberation. With the help of authoritarian regimes hunted down dissidents and manipulate the public consciousness, warns the pages of The Sunday Times expert Evgeny Morozov.
On the example of a Russian online TV channel that "does not hide its ties with the Kremlin" and issues highlighted apolitical "show tits", the author shows how the authorities' requests satisfy the bizarre Russian Internet users "to distract them from politics. At the core of this strategy is "worried that the transition from the world of television, which the government has full control to the anarchic world the Internet" can prevent it "set the agenda and determine the public's reaction to the news." This technique can be effective, "the most effective system for monitoring the Internet — not the one in which it operates the most rigid system of censorship, but one in which there is no need of censorship" — says Morozov.
Next, it analyzes the publication in June 2009, when Iran broke out after the presidential election campaign of protest. The fact that the opposition is actively using Twitter, caused euphoria among some politicians and commentators. Many saw this as a sign of imminent end of authoritarianism on Worldwide, and someone even offered to award a revolutionary service Nobel Peace Prize. But after a few months, "green movement" has come to naught, and the Iranian police launched a search for the leaders of the protests just by posting on the photo and video and personal data from accounts in social networks. Iranians living outside the Islamic Republic, sent out messages with threats to their relatives remaining in Iran. Twitter filled with pro-government statements — and the "reason not likely that the Iranian people suddenly fell in love with Ahmadinejad." It became clear that the "Twitter-revolution, which many in the West were quick to declare the result was just a big fantasy."
Through the Internet the authorities are trying to influence public opinion. In China, operates a so-called "pyatsidesyatsitsentavae army." It consists of 280 thousand bloggers who buy direct discussion on the Internet in "ideologically correct" direction, allegedly received 50 cents per comment. Such "kiberbrygady" created in other countries, such as Nigeria, Cuba, Azerbaijan and Venesuela. Denies the reality and the belief that the Internet helps to destroy prejudice and tolerance education, overcoming cultural and religious boundaries. According to Morozov, the Internet enhances the religious, nationalist and cultural contradictions and thereby dooming world politics on the additional difficulties and controversy.
The transition to digital communications eliminates many of the problems that plagued the track in the analog era, says Morozov. Has a much lower cost storage, search engines make it easy to study foreign correspondence. The author tells of several recent studies this topic. In 2009, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology experts have determined that a person can be online friends with a high probability to judge about his sexual orientation. Scientists from Cambridge in the report titled "Enough eight friends" showed that on the basis of very limited public information from Facebook can make a number of precise conclusions about the data, which are in gated access.
Noteworthy and the apparent discrepancy between the principles of the foreign policy of Western countries and their domestic politics: the foreign audience they preach the value of free and open Internet, and at home often act with opposing initiatives, said the expert. Superiority in this field belongs to Australia, which "constantly flirts with censorship", the governments of Europe for several years trying to pass a law against the illegal downloading of files, in the UK, a program for total viewing of e-mails, after the publication of Wikileaks in the U.S. with a bang erupted Campaign introduction of control mechanisms of the World Wide Web.
"In the light of these events, or too early to praise the merits of the medium, and that the West itself is not yet able to painlessly integrate into their political institutions? After all, you can not call to impose restrictions on sites like Wikileaks and simultaneously vilified for similar measures, China and Iran .. . important to recognize that the debate on the impact of the Internet on democracy is not completed, "- concludes the author.
In an article in The International Herald Tribune Evgeny Morozov notes that the subordination of their interests interneu Kremlin uses no direct censorship of the Chinese sample, and better tools.
A few hours before the verdict of Mikhail Khodorkovsky's press center of it was torn down by DDOS-attack. This method "is becoming an increasingly popular tool for punishing opponents," the author notes, remembering similar cases from Amazon and PayPal, which suffered for hostile actions against Wikileaks. The organizers of the attack "almost impossible" to track down and attack very difficult to distinguish from the server overload due to high demand, so that such cases rarely get a great response.
"For the functioning of the Russian model — what I call the" social control "- no formal, direct censorship. This case takes on an army loyal to the Government of web users, among which often voluntary lovers and savvy in the computer industry have provided the pro-Kremlin youth movements. They attack the Web sites that they do not like, making them inaccessible even to users in countries where Internet censorship is practiced in principle "- says Morozov.
Another lever of influence on the internet gives the Kremlin that "most of the major online resources of the country belong to the oligarchs close to the Kremlin and state-controlled companies." Social networks allow the Russian security services to monitor users and affect the public mood.
Finally, the authorities are in the virtual space of the propaganda — sometimes with diligence, reaching to the comic (Morozov recalls last year's initiative of Vladimir Putin to install a web camera to oversee the construction of houses for the victims of the forest fires).
Disclaimer of technical means of coercion in favor of "social control" gives the Kremlin to save face in the West. Foreign observers "are used to more obvious forms of control the Internet" like "the Great Chinese Firewall," and because they are often the Kremlin's methods just do not "notice". "Meanwhile China its
elf little by little has adopted many of the methods used in Russia, "- said the expert.
At the end of the Morozov advises politicians to "stop taking control of the Internet as a continuation of the practice glushennya radio stations, which were applied during the" cold war "and start paying attention to the non-technical threats to freedom of the network."