“Internet freedom” has become a highly emotional but completely meaningless shibboleth that hucksters of all stripes have begun to exploit for their own purposes. […] There’s a good chance that today’s copyright laws are unjust and inadequate—but this needs to be empirically demonstrated, not simply assumed from their supposed incompatibility with the spirit of “the Internet.” The reason why copyright reform and protection of anonymity are important is very simple: backed by smart legislation, they would provide many more opportunities for human flourishing. It’s the flourishing of humans—not of “the Internet”—that should preoccupy the Pirates.
Yes, digital technologies simultaneously threaten and enable such human flourishing, and it’s important to bring new, younger, more knowledgeable voices to help improve policy making about their future, but the Pirates are on the wrong path with their aim to defend “Internet freedom.” The term’s ambiguity aside, its value will always be instrumental, not intrinsic: we value “Internet freedom” because, in many cases, it will lead to “human freedom.” Occasionally it will not, in which case there is nothing pathological or regressive about curtailing it.
– Evgeny Morozov, To Save Everything Click Here (2013)