The internet cannot change everything overnight. But Evgeny Morozov is wrong: the web is still the greatest democratising force of our timesby Laurie Penny / December 16, 2009 / Leave a comment
Published in December 2009 issue of Prospect Magazine
It’s easy to be cynical about the influence of the internet, particularly when one considers the weight of expectation on new technologies. William Gibson, the first writer to discuss the impact of the internet on the imagination, spoke eloquently of the disappointment of returning to real life after experiencing how human potential expands in cyberspace. In Prospect’s December cover story, Evgeny Morozov touches on this profound disappointment. But in doing so, he underestimates the internet’s revolutionary potential.
In 2008 I worked for the Labour government’s Digital Britain research and observed this mistake being made on a pan-European scale. Labour remains convinced that a “digital Britain” can best be served by government regulation and observation of cyberspace, despite the fact that nearly all the examples of best practice that went into the strategy were online citizen initiatives that had been created in somebody’s living room—with no government interference.