As technology and global politics become intertwined -- even in countries that were barely online only a few years ago -- there could hardly be a better time to launch a blog to study this complicated relationship. From Russia to China and from India to Brazil, technology is reshaping entire countries and societies. Often, these changes are for the better: The mobile phone is enabling millions of people around the globe earn a a living, while blogs and social networks allow NGOs to mobilize their supporters around particular causes.
However, even a cursory look at top technology issues facing us today -- from Internet censorship to online surveillance to cyberwarfare -- makes it clear that technology poses almost as many threats as opportunities. Most interestingly, we see authoritarian regimes gain proficiency with the Internet and actively turn it to their own advantage -- a phenomenon I dub the "spinternet". Even more disturbingly, many of these more sinister activities happen very quietly, while the public gets overly excited about edgier issues like cyber-spies.
This blog's aim is to help you navigate the dense world of technology news and understand the impact that technology has on foreign affairs. As I am currently working on a book that examines the impact of Internet on global politics, I am especially excited about this newest addition to the Foreign Policyblog family. My own technology expertise and perspective is shaped by covering the political and social implications for a host of newspapers and magazines (The Economist, Newsweek International, International Herald Tribune, Boston Review, Slate, San Francisco Chronicleand others) and serving on the board of the Information Programat the Open Society Institute (where I also serve as a fellow).
Thanks to my work with OSI, I have become especially fascinated with the risks and opportunities that technology poses to open society in the most remote parts of the world -- a theme I hope to return to frequently on this blog. My job is to help you understand the world of technology outside of Sillicon Valley or Washington, zooming in on how it's being used -- especially for political reasons -- in less visible parts of the world, from Tajikistan to Moldova and from Syria to Thailand, places that I visit frequently.
Hope you'll be joining me.
P.S. Those trying to locate the blog's RSS feed - here it is.
Photo by Saschaaa/Flickr
Evgeny Morozov, originally from Belarus, is a visiting scholar at Stanford and a Schwartz Fellow at the New America Foundation.