Book: The Red Web: The Struggle Between Russia’s Digital Dictators and the New Online Revolutionaries

The Red Web: The Struggle Between Russia’s Digital Dictators and the New Online Revolutionaries was one of two books I read this weekend (the other was Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness).

It was outstanding. I made it the August book club book for my dad and my brother. And then, this morning, I woke up to the following headlines.

This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who is paying attention. There is now a long history of governments trying to control the Internet. One approach over government is censoring the Internet; another is weaponizing it.

The Red Web covers Russia’s history around the Internet starting during the Cold War with a focus on the last twenty years. While Russia had a slow start, the Internet played a big part in both sides of things – the increasingly free flow of information combined with government control over information.

I believe we are at the very beginning of a new version of this battle. Since the beginning of humans, information – and the control of information – has been one of the key dynamics of power. At least we don’t need to use ravens anymore.  But, depending on which country you are in, they might be a good backup plan.


Also published on Medium.