His next book will include an attack on the “open data” movement. In one cautionary example, the Indian state of Karnataka put millions of property records online in the name of convenience and transparency.
“The wealthy and the powerful used this new data to evict the poor, find the right people to bribe and so forth,” Morozov said. “The moral of the story here is that transparency and efficiency should not be pursued for their own sake. They should serve as enabling factors to other goods and values.”
He believes that self-interested capitalists and “charlatans who claim to be futurists and visionaries” have dominated talk about the Internet. When he enrolls at Harvard in the fall to pursue a PhD in the history of science, it will be with an eye toward shifting the debate to a “richer approach,” one that is more historically and culturally literate.