So while the naive folks in Silicon Valley are singing praise to Digital Sky Technologies (DST), Russia's new investing behemoth with ambitions of world domination, I bet they have no clue that Kremlin has recently tasked Yuri Milner, DST's CEO and founding partner, with finding a way to police RuNet and cleanse it of all illegal content.
It's not yet clear what shape this would take but official sources inside DST say that Milner would work on consolidating the views of Russian Internet Service Provicers into a common position on how to deal with illegal content (see here for a detailed report in Russian).
The most interesting bit in all of this is that Milner - who is also an investor in two of Russia's most popular social networks, which are, ironically, leading distributors of "illegal content" in Russia, however you define it - has apparently volunteered for the position. Maybe, we should just adopt the Russian approach to content regulation on a global scale and also have Facebook's founder come up with his own laws for how to regulate his company (and wait, Milner is an investor in Facebook, too - maybe he can help there).
But jokes aside, I actually believe that Milner will be extremely effective in his job - much more effective than the lazy Russian bureaucrats. He may simply need a good excuse to purge his sites of weird, political, and harmful content - and what can be better than given carte blanche by the regime?
That the Kremlin has a history of recruiting smart Internet talent for their own political agenda is not exactly a secret. What bothers me is that no one in Silicon Valley has the guts to start asking questions about Milner's role in what would inevitably become a great purging of the Russian Internet. Milner, of course, knows his way around the Internet universe: just this week, he charmed the tech gurus - and even Charlie Rose - with his grand pronouncements that "Facebook Is Going To Be The Social Graph That Unifies All Civilization" (that is, right before it destroys it through some nasty privacy flaw).
But Milner's high-minded talk is a poor excuse for not challenging the man about his cosy relationships with Kremlin; that a man who - even if somewhat indirectly - controls two of Russia's most popular social networks and has a stake in Facebook, is trusted enough by the Kremlin to help in their censorship efforts (Milner also sits on one of the presidential commissions) should be a cause for concern, not celebration.
But overall I'm kind of glad that Milner is giving Silicon Valley a rope to hang themselves. Privacy-wise, the only thing worse than Facebook is a Facebook owned by a Russian investor with strong ties to the Kremlin.
Get seriously worried about the Internets. Surround yourself with social media gurus who don't know anything about foreign policy but have a gazillion Twitter followers. Try convincing the world that U.S. technology companies are your new ambassadors, out on a noble mission to spread freedom and democracy around the globe (things not to mention: oil, Iraq, Dick Cheney). Send their CEOs to Siberia, have them play beerpong with the locals. Don't dare mentioning how these very companies abuse freedom and privacy at home, on their own sites. Develop some ambitiously empty buzzword that could make your ridiculous theories sound somewhat convincing (try "21st century statecraft").
Disregard all but the most naïve and dubious assumptions in framing your "Internets problem." Grope for the nearest historical analogy -- the more inappropriate, the better -- and then misread it in a way that would confirm your original thesis. Assume the world hasn't changed since 1989. Remember that "Berlin wall" and "firewall" rhyme; use it to your advantage. Stock up on misleading metaphors that build on "cyber-" and "digital." Commision a few ambitious studies and major conferences to find more non-existing links. Run a grant competition.
Rediscover the toxic ideas behind the Congress for Cultural Freedom and repackage them under the fancier label of Alliance of Youth Movements. Find a bunch of desperate and cash-strapped bloggers from a harsh authoritarian country of your liking -- you'll score bonus points if these hand-picked bloggers-cum-dissidents are completely unknown to anyone who lives there -- and use them as token symbols of your heroic fight to defend the Internets.
Arrange for POTUS to be interviewed by them. If they visit the United States, make sure they meet with a bunch of fringe neocons, keen on promoting regime change in the home countries of your token cyber-dissidents. Think of ways in which to secure a political asylum for them – for they'll probably need one after meeting all these luminaries. Remember to invoke Sakharov when introducing them to the press: as in "Sakharov 2.0." The more "2.0 juice" you spread, the better: hence “samizdat 2.0”, "glasnost 2.0," and "Solidarnosc 2.0" (basically, any Slavic-sounding words with a 2.0 ending would strengthen your case – use them excessively - but watch the pronounciation!)
Meet a group of weird Chinese engineers who are equally confused about the "Internets problem" but are convinced that they can solve it through more engineering. Don't question the viability of such approaches: engineers know better. Ensure their solution solves the wrong problems, lacks transparency, and will convince everyone in Tehran and Beijing that they need to double their incarceration rates for bloggers. Verify that the engineers are as excited about 1989 as you are, albeit for different reasons. Make sure they have some bizarre political or religious affiliation that would make your partnership look extremely odd and geopolitically suicidal. Toy with the idea of giving them funding but decide otherwise, pissing off everyone and their uncle in DC.
Go visit the usual think-tanks in search of aging conservatives who feel nostalgic for the last years of the Reagan administration. Begin by telling them how much you appreciate their (otherwise non-existent) role in ending the Soviet Union by smuggling a bunch of Xerox machines. Practice your rudimentary Polish and Hungarian. Hold their hands and salute Reagan's bust on their table. Proceed to enlighten them about blogs, tweets, and social networks. Watch their faces light up when they grasp the full implications of what you are saying. Surprise them by announcing that Cold War is now officialy back in town.
Remind them to go back to their private libraries and dig up that passionate but unpublishable op-ed they wrote in 1987, the one about tearing down the walls and all that. Have them add "cyber-" to every "wall" in that op-ed and advise them to resumbit it to The Wall Street Journal's editorial page. Act surprised on discovering that the last two paragraphs of their op-ed accuse you of not doing enough to support the revolutionary tweets coming out of Tehran.
Lose control of the nascent but increasingly dangerous debate about your favorite Internets. Convince everyone that you used the Internet to organize the post-election protests in Iran; if it fails, get in touch with Twitter executives and leak your communication with them to the New York Times. Continue telling everyone it was Twitter that caused the protests.
Make no effort to educate the public -- and especially editorial boards and policy-makers -- about the utter idiocy, inappropriateness and outright danger of operating on extremely simplistic assumptions about Internet Freedom. Instead, aggressively embrace those assumptions yourself and turn up the volume on your favorite Cold War songs. Dream up some fancy terms like "information curtain." Let everyone figure out what all that stuff actually means.
Distract everyone by dropping periodic references to the success of technology in rebuilding Haiti and monitoring (sham) elections in Sudan. Benefit from the ensuing confusion -- it buys time. Continue meeting with the weird engineers. Don't debunk any overblown and essentially unverifiable claims about the success of their technology in fostering a "Twitter Revolution” in Iran. Then tell everyone how much you care about Internet Freedom. Wait until your refusal to support the engineers looks extremely hypocritical and doesn't match your own overblown rhetoric. Write a check for $ 1.5 million. Start over.
* Inspired by Lorrie Moore's short story "How To Become a Writer" and the recent announcement that the State Department is about to give $1.5 million to Global Internet Freedom Consortium
I'm still on self-imposed vacation from blogging in order to finish my book manuscript, so my comments on Kyrgyzstan will have to be very brief. Food for thought:
First, for obvious geopolitical reasons, pundits are paying much less attention to protests in Kyrgyzstan than they did to protests in Iran and Burma (or even Thailand). If there were no U.S. military bases in Kyrgyzstan, I doubt that this story would ever have made the front page of the New York Times. But social media couldn care less about geopolitics and military bases. Predictably, we see no significant buzz on Twitter; unlike Justin Bieber, the Kyrgyz revolution is not "trending" as a popular topic there.
Unsurprisingly, we don't see much eulogizing about the Internet's "revolutionary power" in the Western media either. But this does not mean we have suddenly become more reflective or less cyber-utopian; it only means that "Kyrgyzstan" is much harder to pronounce than Iran and most people couldn't care less about it; there is no critical tweetering mass that could fuel the kind of collective fantasy that was fueled by "#iranelection" on Twitter. Consequently, there is no pressure on the Western media to dream up non-existent (Twitter-powered!) angles to news stories: getting their viewers/listeners/readers up to speed on what/where Kyrgyzstan is would eat up the whole story anyway. In short: why is there no Twitter revolution in Kyrgyzstan? Becuase there is no one to hype it up.
Second, those who are in the know about Central Asia and could push this story much harder to the fore of public attention are also predictably cautious: Kyrgyzstan's earlier revolution -- the Tulip one -- was not exactly a paragon of democratization. So whatever role social media is playing in today's revolution is poised to be accompanied by much more cautious and much less celebratory rhetoric, for no one could really be sure that the vector of change we are observing in Kyrgyzstan is "towards democracy" (that said, I do think that it's hard to outperform Bakiev's regime when it comes to incompetence and lack of respect for human rights).
Iran, too, wasn't really such an obvious case -- after all, Moussavi, a former Iranian prime minister with quite a few dark spots on his resume, made for a very poor "martyr for democracy" -- but at least Ahmadinejad's evil was fully transparent and was thus very easy to hate (go ask anyone in any small American town what they think about Ahmadinejad and Iran; then try the same trick by asking them about Bakiev/Kyrgyzstan).
Third, based on what I've seen on Twitter -- and I must say I haven't been looking very hard and it's not a scientific sample -- there are quite a few people in the country who are tweeting about what's going on, in Russian/Kyrgyz/English but no one is using Twitter to organize anything (given that the entire revolution was kind of disorganized and spontaneous, it's hard to make an argument that someone organized anything over Twitter).
Besides, all the tweeting/facebooking/blogging that came out of Kyrgyzstan was possible because the previous government was caught by surprise and did not have enough time to cut off all communications. The whole revolution, apparently, appears to be little else but an afterthought: even the opposition was not expecting it to succeed. Obviously, what matters in most revolutionary circumstances is how fast one can disconnect all communications, and, well, the Kyrgyz government has obviously not given much thought to the issue.
Expect that "turn-it-all-off-with-one-click" systems would get really popular with authoritarian rulers (hey, this could be the new "red button"!). At the same time, we'll probably continue seeing the Kyrgyz opposition -- which now technically is no longer in opposition -- rely on Twitter to push their messages to Central Asia watchers/media folks in the West. That's, of course, perfectly rational and I would even say smart. But it's not the kind of spontaneous grassroots-based organizing the pundits were extolling during the events in Iran.
Finally, some pundits have observed that the availability of footage/tweets from Kyrgyzstan would certainly make other dictators rethink their own vulnerability and heed the right lessons. I agree. This is a variation on the "demonstration effect" argument, which, because of the pervasive liberal bias, we usually believe to work only in one direction (example: "Oh, now that the Uzbek activists have seen what's possible in Kyrgyzstan, they too would rise up"; this, of course, can be countered with a completely opposite point: "Oh, now that the Uzbek/Turkmen/Kazakh dictators have seen what's possible in Kyrgyzstan, they too would take preemptive measures"). By this logic, the folks who really learned the most from the Orange Revolution in 2004 were not the anti-government activists in Minsk, but Kremlin operatives in Moscow.
Bottom line: new media played no visible role in organizing the protesters and some role in broadcasting what was happening to the rest of the world (it's not clear though whether this broadcasting had any real impact on the police's ability to control the unruly protesters). That's a preliminary judgement: I have no clue how well the Kyrgyz opposition was organized in reality; based on media reports, it seems like they were not.
Obviously, I've also omitted any discussion about the regional dimensions to this revolution, for the example, the split between Kyrgyzstan's North and South and how both regions were communicating with the capital, and how what happened in each reinforced/undermined developments elsewhere. I'm well aware of that. But this would get us into a much-longer historical conversation about the role of communications (I'd venture that even faxes/telegraphs would do this kind of job -- no need for Internet media or anything of the kind).
For all the hype about "digital revolutions", "analog revolutions" are still the norm, not the exception.
Big news from Russia today: RBK Daily, a respected Russian news agency, reports (in Russian) that the Russian government might soon be launching a "national search engine". According to RBK's anonymous sources inside Kremlin, it would aim at satisfying "state-oriented" needs such as "facilitating access to safe information" and "filtering web-sites that feature banned content." It's going to be an ambitious project: the government is prepared to invest $100 million in this new venture, does not want to allow any foreign funding, and intends to build it in cooperation with the private sector.
RBK mentions several interesting players that have either been already consulted or would be asked to join soon : Rostelecom (Russia's state-owned telecommunications giant), ABBYY (one of the leading software firms specializing in document recognition and translation - the company was actually founded in Russia in 1989!), and "Ashmanov and Partners" (an Internet consulting firm led by Igor Ashmanov, a pioneer of the Russian Internet and a former senior executive at Rambler, one of Russia's first search engines).
The idea to "nationalize Internet search" comes from Vladislav Surkov, the deputy head of the presidential administration and the mastermind of a recent plan to modernize the country by building Russia's own Silicon Valley (that project is also advancing very rapidly: Viktor Vekselberg, one of Russia's richest people and Kremlin-friendly oligarch, has been appointed to lead the initiative, while
Esther Dyson -- a famed American technology investor - has been named
as one of the main candidates to join him as a co-chair UPDATE: Esther Dyson says that these speculations are not true). The
government has warmed up to Surkov's Internet plans -- perhaps, after
hearing the recent news from China -- and Victor Shegolev, Russia's
Minister of Communications has been appointed to curate it.
To understand why Kremlin might be embarking on such a supposedly doomed project, one has to look at the structure of the Russian market for Internet search. As in China, it's a domestic company that controls it: according to just released estimates from LiveInternet, Yandex holds 62.8 percent of the market, with Google holding just 21.9 percent of the Russian market (two other search engines -- Mail.ru and Rambler -- have 8.4 percent and 3 percent respectively). But these figures conceal the fact that Google's share has been growing very rapidly: until 2006 Google has held only a tiny share of the Russian market (around 6 percent ) but it has significantly expanded since then (in 2009 Google's PR chief in Moscow even said that "Russia is a pivotal country for Google").
Now, Kremlin clearly views Yandex as one of the most innovative Russian companies and keeps a very close eye on its operations. In 2009 Sberbank, a state-owned bank, even bought Yandex's "golden share", which gave the state veto power on the sale of more than 25 percent of Yandex's shares (in a recent interview with Kommersant, one of Russia's leading newspapers, Yandex's president explained such a close relationship with the Kremlin by the need to have "transparent rules" for attracting investment, arguing that Yandex "has become part of a national infrastructure" and such close ties with the state are inevitable). When in late 2009, Yandex shut down its list of most popular blog posts in the Russian blogosphere -- which had often been used by activists to push their causes to the national attention -- some read it as a sign of the state's growing control of its activities.
I believe that Kremlin has no interest in destroying Yandex -- it's one of the few Russian companies that are actually very innovative and well-known abroad and Kremlin has plenty of other means to influence where Yandex is going- so the real target of this "nationalization of search" must be Google. The big question is: How good of a Google competitor can the Kremlin really build, given that they have almost unlimited resources (both financial, technological and legal ones)?
We should not underestimate Kremlin's capacity to adapt to the digital realities: they have cultivated a sprawling community of Internet gurus who work or consult for the government (Konstantyn Rykov and Askar Tuganbayev are good examples) and they do have a lot of private sector expertise to draw on.
Earlier today Igor Ashmanov, one of the people that the Kremlin consulted about the "national search engine", gave an interview to the Echo of Moscow, a liberal Russian radio station, where he shared his views about the growing political role of Google and search engines in general and what a national search engine might accomplish in Russia. Ashmanov is one of the most influential people on the Russian Internet and the first and only person familiar with Kremlin's plans to go on the record so far. Even though he does not work for the government, I think his opinions are not that far from what Russian bureaucrats would make of Google's problems in China and its murky future in Russia. Below is my translation of some of his most illuminating quotes (italics mine):
On Google as an instrument of the US government and on its role in China: Google is just another way [for the US government] to tease China for not being a democracy and to get it to barge on certain economic issues. So if the Chinese don't want to weaken renmibi's exchange rate, we [the US government] would say that, from the perspective of a true religion of democracy -- of which the US is the capital - you are heretics and we'll be teasing you for human rights violations and the like until you weaken the rate...
Eric Schmidt, Google's CEO, frequently meets with Hillary Clinton, goes to special breakfasts [ at the state department]; the US authorities often say that Google is advancing the causes of democracy in China. How should the Chinese government view this? As an intervention in their affairs. That's exactly what they are doing...Google was founded in a university, it works with intelligence services - the US government would be silly not use it for America's own good.
On the idea of a national search engine: In principle, it's possible to create such a search engine, if you create a strong team, make them co-owners of the project and give them superb technology. It can be Rambler, it can be Aport (an obsolete Russian search engine); those can be revived. Second, the state should make sure there is a [business] environment where such sites can flourish.
A national search engine [may be subsidized so that it] does not need sell any ads in its first few years, which is quite attractive. It has to focus on getting a market share, not making money. Third, it can be installed in all state institutions, on all computers that are assembled in Russia, in all schools, prisons, military institutions, hospitals and so on. This can guarantee it a certain level of traffic; 10-15% is what they can get.
Then one can talk about the owners of Internet resources that are close or loyal to the government -- and we know that there are oligarchs that are socially responsible and close to the state -- and to install this search engine on their own resources. So finally this may lead to a national search engine. This won't help to topple Yandex, but it would help overtake Google, Rambler, and everyone else.
On what would happen if Google wins in Russia: [From a state perspective, if Google wins in Russia], it would be really bad. It would be bad -- and it doesn't matter that some would think that Russia is not a democracy and it does not like it. Even the democratic Europe doesn't like Google's domination...
No one likes it because, first, a search engine is a means of influencing public opinion, and second, it's a source of unique information about what people think and what kind of information they want. Whoever dominates the search market in the country knows what people are searching for; they know the stream of search queries. This is completely unique information, which one can't get anywhere else.
To be fair to Ashmanov, he also expressed some skepticism as to whether the government would be able to pull it off unless they really commit a lot of resources to this project (which, in his view, they aren't doing at the moment.) Nevertheless, his strategy of how such a national search engine might compete with Google seems very realistic to me: if the government does move to leverage the power of the Kremlin-friendly oligarchs -- who own most of the online property on the Russian Internet -- as well as to require all state institutions to make this new search engine their default start page and install it on all new computers sold in Russia -- they may, indeed, gain a significant share of the Russia market. If this is combined with some soft or hard pressure on Google -- think tax raids on their offices or some lengthy litigation of the kind that is now happening in Italy -- it's not unfeasible that a national search engine might steal a significant market share from Google.
This plan for a national search engine is not an isolated development. Earlier this year the government has been debating - without reaching any conclusion -- the plan to give a unique government-run email account to every Russian (supposedly in order to facilitate their access to e-governments services: a unique email account would help to authenticate that the right people are getting the right services).
It also needs to be seen within a global movement launched by many other governments to achieve "information sovereignty" (i.e. distance themselves from Google, which is perceived to be too close to the US government). In fact, I am struck by how much similarity there is between what's happening in Russia, Turkey, and even Iran. In December, I wrote about the Anaposta project launched by the Turkish government in order to do just what the Kremlin wants: build a national search engine and a national email system for every Turkish citizen. In early February, the Iranians announced their own plan for national email (mostly in order to bypass Gmail - which could be interpreted as them just wanting to score propaganda points following the news announcement that Google was talking to NSA).
The idea of national search engines is not new. Europeans have been toying with similar plans for a few years now but to no avail -- there was simply not enough political will in Europe to make that happen (who now talks about Quaero, a much-discussed European alternative to Google that never really took off the ground?). Russia, on the other hand, is a different case: the Kremlin wants to build this new engine for reasons that have nothing to do with national pride or the need to preserve national heritage. All Kremlin wants to do is to establish firmer control over the information flows in the country and given that they have quite a few unfair advantages -- both market-based and legal -- they may as well succeed.
Most interestingly, I am wondering if American diplomats and technology
gurus are shooting themselves in the foot by lending their expertise to
the likes of Surkov. Wouldn't that be ironic if the result of all those luxurious US State Department
-funded (UPDATE: according to Esther Dyson, the trip was not paid for by the government) junkets to Siberia would be more tax raids on Google's offices in Moscow?
p.s. As it turns out, Estonia already has a national email system, which proves that this is not impossible. For more details, please see this. The only difference: Estonians have access to any other email services, while Iranians may soon have no choice.
DMITRY KOSTYUKOV/AFP/Getty Images
While the whole world is watching what Google is going to do in China, Chinese Internet companies are quietly expanding their global operations. The latest company to do so is AliBaba.com, the country's biggest business-to-business website, which is rapidly increasing its presence in Brazil.
Recently it has partnered with Ludatrade, a Hong Kong company, and expects a growth rate of 30 to 50 percent (disclosure: Yahoo owns 40 percent of Alibaba and my current Georgetown fellowship is endowed by them). Apparently, Alibaba already has 156,000 users in the country.
Earlier this year, we saw another interesting development: In January 2010, Shanda Games, China's largest operator of online games, paid $60 million in cash and $20 million in equity for MochiMedia, a San Francisco-based Flash game advertising network and payments platform.
A question posed on TechCrunch, a technology blog, in relation to that acquisition and the future of relationship between China and Silicon Valley in light of Google's debacle was a good one:
Chinese Web companies are building huge cash hoards and valuable stock currencies and it’s still a comparatively young Web market. Increasingly, these companies could be likely buyers of US startups—not the other way around. Will the Valley’s rhetoric stick then?
By "Valley's rhetoric," they probably meant putting freedom and human rights ahead of business interests.
But that's not at all: check this 2009 map (pdf) that visualizes China's tech expansion (the map comes from Mobinode, a group blog about Asian tech industry). It clearly shows China's investments into India, Malaysia, Vietnam, Russia, Korea, Thailand, Philippines, Brazil, Japan to name just a few (many of them are in the gaming industry). According to this recent article in (the government-owned) China Daily, even Chinese online encyclopedias are now expanding abroad, mostly to target Chinese living abroad (primarily in the U.S.).
Well, let me add a conjecture of my own: if Chinese companies are not allowed to buy oil and transportation firms here in the U.S., they will soon start buying Internet firms. Now, that's a neat way to undermine "Internet freedom" from within. It's only a matter of time before the U.S. Congress starts ringing alarm bells about the Chinese Internet takeover.
To read more about how China's Internet and software companies are trying to expand globally, take a look at this article from Seeking Alpha, this post from MobiNode and SiliconHutong blog. This Jan 2010 piece from Reuters offers some more excellent analysis on the problems faced by Chinese companies seeking global expansion.
A week has passed since the U.S. Treasury announced it was going to lift a ban on the export of online services like instant messaging, chat, and photo sharing to Iran, Cuba, and Sudan. This was an ineffective ban to begin with: Anyone who wanted to use tools like Google Chrome could already do so by using proxies to download it. I am curious what happens to commercial software; I am pretty sure that Iranians won't be able to download American software for which they have to pay, as American businesses can't do business with Iran unless they go through a complicated process of obtaining a waiver.
Nevertheless, lifting the ban on this fine assortment of free software is a small step in the right direction. But U.S. officials shouldn't stop there, for they still haven't addressed a much more important problem, namely the fact that Iranians still do not have access to the same tools for supporting their websites as bloggers and Web entrepreneurs elsewhere. They can't, for example, use Google AdWords to generate cash from showing ads on their sites: Google doesn't list Iran as an option in any of the menus available on Google AdWords. This is hardly surprising given blanket restrictions that American companies face when doing business with Iran -- but Google could at least be publicly voicing those concerns rather than simply embracing the Treasury's decision with open arms. I have yet to see a Google rep publicly complain about the inability to sell Google ads in Iran.
As I've already blogged about here, keeping Iranians out of Google ads creates an extremely unhealthy environment where Iranian Internet projects -- even the most popular ones -- can't finance themselves and have to rely on handouts from foundations and Western governments. This, of course, further taints their reputation in the eyes of the regime, as any foreign funding is perceived as a precursor of a revolution. Granted cashing a U.S. check from Google in Iran may not be an easy walk either, but I am sure that it would create fewer risks than cashing a check from any of the 60 organizations identified by the Iranian government as enemies of the state. Without introducing such granularity into its own sanctions regime, the U.S. government pushes its most loyal supporters in Iran toward taking risks that are completely unnecessary.
The wiki, which is still in its early stages with a little over 1700 accessible articles, provides the Ikhwan perspective of their own history and events in which they were involved or believe to be closely tied to their Islamic or political cause--a mini Ikhwan library for those who don't have access to the Brotherhood's literature or to writings by their thinkers that are available in some Islamic bookstores.
Under the section "Ideology of the group" a wide range of subjects can be found, with politics and religion interweaving--as is the case with the Brotherhood's dogma itself. Essays published on the wiki involve abstract concepts like freedom and matters of spirituality. One essay is titled "Love in God"--a concept directly connected to the idea that Muslims should love and ally with other pious Muslims and avoid "sinners," or those who have strayed from the right path.
...The wiki also links to Brotherhood forums and websites and is hosted by a server based in the United States, which makes it near impossible for Egypt's internet watchdogs at the Interior Ministry to crackdown on the site as they did several years earlier with the first website, which was hosted from Egypt.
Evgeny Morozov, originally from Belarus, is a visiting scholar at Stanford and a Schwartz Fellow at the New America Foundation.