Both Morozov’s The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom and Eli Praiser’s The Filter Bubble discuss aspects of internet usage, censorship, and data collection. Morozov addresses the issue of censorship, and whether or not there is a need for censorship, through usage of the example of Russia. In Russia, the government chooses not to censor the content available to its citizens through the Internet. Morozov argues that this choice does not threaten the Russian form of government because people want what they cannot have, but since there is nothing that the government says they cannot have, the Russian citizens prefer to consume entertainment related media as opposed to political media. However, it is possible that if certain topics were censored, the Russian citizens would be more likely to seek out information on those topics more so than entertainment based media simply because of curiosity and the innate human instinct of wanting exactly what we are told we cannot have.
Eli Praiser, on the other hand, describes how incredibly powerful companies such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook, are able to create programs that they embed into their websites and services that help to gather information on users, track searches, preferences, likes and dislikes, etc. This information can be useful in figuring out what to censor and how to go about doing it in a way that would be most effective, however, up until now, this information has largely only been used to generate more effect marketing and advertising strategies. Is this user usage data information that is being collected for various reasons immoral on every level or does it depend on what the information is being used for? Is it okay to collect such personal data from search histories, preferences, likes and dislikes if the information is being used for marketing purposes? What about if it is being used to learn how to better censor information that the government does not want its citizens to be aware of? In what other circumstances, do you think, that information gathering and censorship can be either moral or immoral?