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The Google Doctrine
Transcript of The Google Doctrine
How NASDAQ Will Save the World
The internet is owned in part by companies who control a majority of the websites or the service to the internet making the internet a coporate venture that the people get to enjoy.
When Google pulled out of China becauseo fn ew censorship laws and took their business elsewhere they were heralded as a beacon or example of what standing up for freedom looks like. They had "helped" solve a human rights problem there. When in reality thye just took their business elsewhere.
Google was seen as a hero and advertised as one by reporters who believed their act was a event that would have cyber-utopian consequences for the betterment of society.
Not only does this behavior credit companies it lumps all of them together and doesnt differentiate between their differences and who's doing the most work for human rights.
Twitter and Facebook have both refused to join GNI the Global Network Initiative which is just a group of well known new media companies who pledge to uphold all the freedom laws
With both Twitter and Facebook not joining and working closely with the Us government Privacy becomes a an issue. But neither are worried.
The more Western policymakers talk up the threat that bloggers pose to authoritarian regimes, the more likely those regimes are to limit the maneuver space where those bloggers operate. (29)
Thus the Google Doctrine is enemy unto itself.
Web 2.0 is regarded, in the West as tyranny's nightmare and will act as the slayer of authoritarianism from all parts of the globe.
Web 2.0 doesn't actually have a postive effect on facilitating change but rather allows news to flow more freely.
It also pisses off authoritarian states more because it is considered to be a form a Western infiltration.
3 Truths of the Google Doctrine within the Iranian Protest Context
Where are the weapons of Mass Construction?
"Western policymakers are lost in the mists of cyber-utopianism, a belief in the power of the Internet to do supernatural things." (19)
"One of the central beliefs of the Google Doctrine is opening up closed societies and flushing them with democracy until they shed off their authoritarian skin."(19)
Tweets, of course, don’t topple governments; people do.(19)
"By the end of 2009 cyber-utopianism reached new heights, and the Norwegian Nobel Committee did not object when Wired Italy nominated the Internet for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize."(20)
Riccardo Luna, the editor of the Italian edition of Wired magazine said that the Internet is a “first weapon of mass construction, which we can deploy to destroy hate and conflict and to propagate peace and democracy.”(20)
"The border between cyber-utopianism and cyber-naïveté is a blurry one."(21)
The people who believe so strongly in this part of the Google Doctrine don’t think through its premise which is a direct enemy to authoritarian states who would despise a rich internet culture and censor it there by removing its access and purpose.
A Revolution in Search of Revolutionaries
"There is absolutely no excuse for giving the air of intervening into internal affairs of either private companies or foreign governments while actually doing nothing.(14)
“Interventions” right no wrongs; instead they create wrongs of their own. (14)
American pundits go to talk shows; Iranian bloggers go to prison. (14)
Al-Jazeera, stated that during the protests only sixty active Twitter accounts in Tehran existed then fell to six once the Iranian authorities cracked down on online communications. (15)
"Tweets did get sent, and crowds did gather in the streets. This does not necessarily mean, however, that there was a causal link between the two."(16)
“Twitter was massively overrated.”(16)
“Twitter’s impact inside Iran is zero.”(17)
There were very few people actually reporting on a large scale basis from inside Iran most were getting information funneled to them abroad and shared it on mass level in English on Twitter.
In this respect Twitter can be seen more like a news aggregator instead of a primary source for news.
Finding the real reporters of the protest is the real search.
Alec Ross, Hillary Clinton’s senior adviser for innovation said that “there is very little information to support the claim that Facebook or Twitter or text messaging caused the rioting or can inspire an uprising.”(19)
Consequences of a Imagined Revolution
"At the height of the Iranian protests a senior official at the U.S. State Department sent an email to executives at Twitter, inquiring if they could reschedule maintenance of the site, so as not to disrupt the Iranian protests."(9)
"For the Iranian authorities, such contact between its sworn enemies in the U.S. government and a Silicon Valley firm providing online services quickly gave rise to suspicions that the Internet is an instrument of Western power and that its ultimate end is to foster regime change in Iran."(10)
"In just a few months, the Iranian government formed a high-level twelve-member cybercrime team tasked with finding “insults and lies”—on Iranian websites.
Those spreading false information were to be identified and arrested."(10)
Public tip-offs helped to identify and arrest at least forty people.(10)
The police went searching for personal details—mostly Facebook profiles and email addresses—of Iranians living abroad and sent them threatening messages urging them stop unless they wanted to hurt their relatives back in Iran.(11)
The authorities used text messaging to frighten Iranians.
“Dear citizen, according to received information, you have been influenced by the destabilizing propaganda which the media affiliated with foreign countries have been disseminating. In case of any illegal action and contact with the foreign media, you will be charged as a criminal consistent with the Islamic Punishment Act and dealt with by the Judiciary.”(11)
The Iranian Revolution
In June 2009 people took to the streets in Tehran to protest a fraudulent election.
They used Twitter to organize and release news to the world when the government shut down most communication.
The western world took this information and instead of talking about the issue they focused on how amazing Twitter is.
Andrew Sullivan, a reporter, concentrated on this almost immediately and was able to report early and accurately(via blog) the details of the revolution.
Twitter is heralded as the tyranny's nightmare.
Hail the Google Doctrine
After the Green Movement lost its momentum people were saddened by what had actually been achieved.
What was clear was "the intense Western longing for a world where information technology is the liberator rather than the oppressor, a world where technology could be harvested to spread democracy around the globe rather than entrench existing autocracies."(5)
Morozov defines The Google Doctrine as “the enthusiastic belief in the liberating power of technology accompanied by the irresistible urge to enlist Silicon Valley start-ups in the global fight for freedom”
Westerners have "The fervent conviction that given enough gadgets, connectivity, and foreign funding, dictatorships are doomed, which so powerfully manifested itself during the Iranian protests, reveals the pervasive influence of the Google Doctrine"(5)
Some Communist countries fell around the time the VHS was making the switch to DVD yet others got stronger and this weakened the idea that advancing technology is the way to democracy
It wasn't until the Iranian protests that people began to believe in the Google Doctrine again.
Morozov compares the struggles between the Eastern Europeans in 1989 when they revolted to the Iranian people because the Eastern Europeans used their own analog technology: photocopiers,radios, cameras and fax machines.
DQ: Do you think that the Internet has a significant impact on today's society? Is it important for the democratic process?
Sullivan was optimistic about Twitter's role in the revolution and others began to take what he said as complete truth instead of fact checking his reports.
Many reputable news sources began to report on the event from Sullivans' viewpoint, praising Twitter.
Technology pundits were everywhere in the media talking about how the internet was the base "for a technology-driven protest movement"(3)
The truth was the Twitter was a technology used help voices who were lost among the din but it failed to accomplish anything on the ground.
"In a column modestly entitled “Tyranny’s New Nightmare: Twitter,” Los Angeles Times writer Tim Rutten declared that “as new media spreads its Web worldwide, authoritarians like those in Iran will have a difficult time maintaining absolute control in the face of the technology’s chaotic democracy.” That the Green Movement was quickly disintegrating and was unable to mount a serious challenge to Ahmadinejad didn’t prevent the editorial page of the Baltimore Sun from concluding that the Internet was making the world safer and more democratic."(4)
People were delusional about the power of Twitter.
Gordon Brown the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom said that because of web 2.0 like Twitter the horrors of places like Rwanda could never happen
Because the Iranians began to blame America for their revolution other countries grew worried. Chinese authorities interpreted Iran as a warning sign that digital revolutions facilitated by American technology companies are not spontaneous but carefully staged affairs. (12)
"An official outlet of the Chinese military said that the April 2010 youth protests in Moldova and those in Iran are prime examples of Internet-enabled foreign intervention."(13)
The Chinese used this to build a case for more internet censorship for its people saying we were poisoning them from afar. Russia too used this as a way to justify more censorship.
A simple email based on the premise that Twitter mattered in Iran, sent by an American diplomat triggered a worldwide Internet panic and threatened to tighten online spaces and opportunities that were previously unregulated. (13)
As a result, many of these “dangerous revolutionaries” were jailed, many more were put under secret surveillance. (13)