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Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World by [Schneier, Bruce]
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Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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When it comes to what government and business are doing together and separately with personal data scooped up from the ether, Mr. Schneier is as knowledgeable as it gets…. Mr. Schneier’s use of concrete examples of bad behavior with data will make even skeptics queasy and potentially push the already paranoid over the edge. Mr. Schneier writes clearly and simply about a complex subject. — Jonathan A. Knee (The New York Times)

Lucid and compelling. — Emily Parker (Washington Post)

A pithy, pointed, and highly readable explanation of what we know in the wake of the Snowden revelations, with practical steps that ordinary people can take if they want to do something about the threats to privacy and liberty posed not only by the government but by the Big Data industry. — Neal Stephenson, author of Reamde

Lucid and fast-paced…. Schneier describes with dismay the erosion of privacy, then lays out a strategy for turning the tide. — Hiawatha Bray (Boston Globe)

[T]hought-provoking, absorbing, and comprehensive. — Gil Press (Forbes)

The public conversation about surveillance in the digital age would be a good deal more intelligent if we all read Bruce Schneier first. — Malcolm Gladwell

Bruce Schneier has written a hugely insightful and important book about how big data and its cousin, mass surveillance, affect our lives, and what to do about it. In characteristic fashion, Schneier takes very complex and varied information and ideas and makes them vivid, accessible, and compelling. — Jack Goldsmith, former head of the Office of Legal Counsel of the Department of Justice under George W. Bush

Schneier exposes the many and surprising ways governments and corporations monitor all of us, providing a must-read User’s Guide to Life in the Data Age. His recommendations for change should be part of a much-needed public debate. — Richard A. Clarke, former chief counterterrorism adviser on the National Security Council under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and author of Cyber War

As it becomes increasingly clear that surveillance has surpassed anything that Orwell imagined, we need a guide to how and why we’re being snooped and what we can do about it. Bruce Schneier is that guide—step by step he outlines the various ways we are being monitored, and after scaring the pants off us, he tells us how to fight back. — Steven Levy, editor-in-chief of Backchannel and author of Crypto and Hackers

A judicious and incisive analysis of one of the most pressing new issues of our time, written by a true expert. — Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of The Better Angels of Our Nature

Lucid, sophisticated… Finely constructed, free of cant, and practical in its conclusions. — Jacob Silverman (Los Angeles Times)

Paints a picture of the big-data revolution that is dark, but compelling; one in which the conveniences of our digitized world have devalued privacy. — Charles Seife (Nature)

The internet is a surveillance state, and like any technology, surveillance has both good and bad uses. Bruce Schneier draws on his vast range of technical and historical skills to sort them out. He analyzes both the challenge of big brother and many little brothers. Anyone interested in security, liberty, privacy, and justice in this cyber age must read this book. — Joseph S. Nye Jr., Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor and author of The Future of Power

Data and Goliath is the indispensable guide to understanding the most important current threat to freedom in democratic market societies. Whether you worry about government surveillance in the post-Snowden era, or about Facebook and Google manipulating you based on their vast data collections, Schneier, the leading, truly independent expert writing about these threats today, offers a rich overview of the technologies and practices leading us toward surveillance society and the diverse solutions we must pursue to save us from that fate. — Yochai Benkler, Berkman Professor of Entrepreneurial Legal Studies at Harvard Law School and author of The Wealth of Networks

Product Description

“Bruce Schneier’s amazing book is the best overview of privacy and security ever written.”—Clay Shirky

Your cell phone provider tracks your location and knows who’s with you. Your online and in-store purchasing patterns are recorded, and reveal if you're unemployed, sick, or pregnant. Your e-mails and texts expose your intimate and casual friends. Google knows what you’re thinking because it saves your private searches. Facebook can determine your sexual orientation without you ever mentioning it.

The powers that surveil us do more than simply store this information. Corporations use surveillance to manipulate not only the news articles and advertisements we each see, but also the prices we’re offered. Governments use surveillance to discriminate, censor, chill free speech, and put people in danger worldwide. And both sides share this information with each other or, even worse, lose it to cybercriminals in huge data breaches.

Much of this is voluntary: we cooperate with corporate surveillance because it promises us convenience, and we submit to government surveillance because it promises us protection. The result is a mass surveillance society of our own making. But have we given up more than we’ve gained? In Data and Goliath, security expert Bruce Schneier offers another path, one that values both security and privacy. He brings his bestseller up-to-date with a new preface covering the latest developments, and then shows us exactly what we can do to reform government surveillance programs, shake up surveillance-based business models, and protect our individual privacy. You'll never look at your phone, your computer, your credit cards, or even your car in the same way again.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1913 KB
  • Print Length: 398 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (March 2 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00L3KQ1LI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #73,807 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Hardcover
If you’d asked me a year ago, “do you worry about government surveillance?”, I would have said no. But today, my answer would be an empathic YES.

The scary part is that, like most Canadians, I hadn’t worried about that kind of surveillance until the current debate around C-51. (If you don’t know what that is, check it out here.) This terrifying bill would, among many other things, make it illegal to talk positively of terrorism on the internet. Just look at the news in Canada on any day lately, and you’ll see a report or an opinion on it. I personally like iPolitics and Rabble.

Reading Bruce Schneier’s Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World in this very sensitive time reinforced and confirmed my vehement disagreement with the bill, and with ubiquitous, mass digital surveillance in general.

Ubiquitous surveillance means that anyone could be convicted of lawbreaking, once the police set their minds to it. It is incredibly dangerous to live in a world where everything you do can be stored and brought forward as evidence against you at a later date.
In a sense, this book is the social and political companion to Dragnet Nation. It also lays out the theoretical, real-world basis for understanding the concerns brought up in The Circle. So if you were going to read these three books, I suggest you start with this one.

Schneier’s writing is crystal clear and compelling. The arguments he presents are strong and supported by about 100 pages of notes and sources–almost half the length of the book itself.

But what is his argument, really?

"Data is the pollution problem of the information age, and protecting privacy is the environmental challenge. Almost all computers produce personal information.
Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book clearly lays out how and why your data is being used and abused, and the costs to society that this entails.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's a easy read to go through while not getting into to much technical jargon. About half the book is dedicated to additional research, notes and other such supporting items. Reading on a kindle will have you come to the "end" of the book at about the 50% point.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
bought it as a present, high success 😊
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9f7ac60c) out of 5 stars 105 reviews
40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa01aa1a4) out of 5 stars Schneier beautifully explains how privacy is an essential human need. March 2 2015
By PUSHPA - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Data brings power as well as frailty to humans. Data could give security strength to government but it snatches away individual freedom. What is the meaning of life in the modern age of surveillance? What kinds of checks and balances are required in terms of personal data collection, corporate data surveillance and ubiquitous mass surveillance by governments? These are the central questions addressed by the security Guru Bruce Schneier in his latest book "Data and Goliath."

In a very straight forward and convincing style, Schneier presents the causes and consequences of big data and surveillance in our day to day lives. With the help of a number of annotations and references, Schneier explains the hidden secrets of surveillance and data exploitation by different players and the plight of our freedom and privacy in this context.

When Schneier is critical of unjustified data collection and surveillance, he is not against the technology itself. He advocates that the fundamental human rights should be respected in any society. He pleads that privacy is the cornerstone of such rights. In this book, Schneier beautifully explains how privacy is an essential human need and being stripped off privacy is dehumanizing - be it a handiwork of government or an automated computer algorithm set up by corporate gainers or others. He establishes that the biggest cost of surveillance is our liberty that should be understood by everyone.

Schneier offers thoughtful recommendations and suggestions to deal with personal data and surveillance. Besides providing useful principles and solutions to reap the rightful benefits of data collection and its use, Schneier insists on the need of people's engagement with the issue to develop a healthy public opinion that will fix the contours of privacy and surveillance.

Schneier's years of experience and expertise in security and technology makes this book authentic and dependable work. This influential book will certainly enlighten both experts and common readers to understand the social and legal implications of data, surveillance, privacy and security issues. This book will be of immense use to undergraduate students and research scholars of different universities and a must for every library.

-- Dr. Pushpa Kumar Lakshmanan
(Dr. Pushpa Kumar Lakshmanan is a Fulbright scholar and a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard Law School, Harvard University, U.S.A. He is a Research Professor at World Institute of Scientific Exploration, Baltimore, USA and Assistant Professor (Senior) at the Faculty of Law, University of Delhi. Pushpa was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Washington School of Law, University of Washington, Seattle, USA and the Cardiff Law School, Cardiff University, UK: and Research Fellow at Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg, Germany. He specializes in international law, intellectual property law, and environmental law with broad focus on the promotion of rule of law, justice and world peace).
37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa01aa1f8) out of 5 stars An essential book for our times March 2 2015
By Dan Gillmor - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Bruce Schneier (disclosure: a friend and occasional colleague) has written an essential book for our spy-happy times. He's a serious technologist who explains, in human terms, the meaning and threat of mass surveillance.

The most important part of this book, however (disclosure: I received an advance copy from his publisher), is his prescription for what we need to do. Surveillance-enabling technology isn't going away. It's getting more prevalent, and more hidden from view. And we can't sit back and expect the surveillance state to curb itself. So we need to change our norms on how we use it, but even more, we need to change our laws and rules.
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa01aa630) out of 5 stars Deepening our discussion of the details March 2 2015
By Tim Davies - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Over the last two years we've had a drip, drip, drip of revelations about mass-surveillance by the state, and uses and abuses of the data we share with corporations. In this book, Bruce Schneier brings together the revelations and stories, and with a clear analysis, explains why they matter and, most importantly, what we should do about it.

As Bruce puts it: "One of the most surreal aspects of the NSA stories based on the Snowden documents is how they made even the most paranoid conspiracy theorists seem like paragons of reason and common sense. It's easy to forget the details and fall back into complacency; only continued discussion of the details can prevent this." (p. 224). This book gets into the details. And any sense of conspiracy theory is put aside by the comprehensive referencing that fills the back 1/4 of the text.

One of the brilliant thing about Bruce's books is that he engages not just with narratives of technology, but also with considering the deeper issues they relate to. Part 2, on 'What's at Stake', in starting from Political Liberty and Justice frames the debate right... not leaping straight into discussions of privacy and security, but working to explain why they matter in terms of core human values.

The optimism many had for the Internet as a tool to bring about a better world must now be tempered by an understanding of how the data we choose to share, and the data that is captured without our choice, has changed the balances of power that are essential for democratic governance. We shouldn't give up on the positive potentials of technology: but we need to engage with our eyes open. In this book Bruce points to key principles for that engagement, looking at solutions for government, for corporations and for 'the rest of us'.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa01aa9f0) out of 5 stars Schneier's book is a fantastic achievement; essential reading in the Post-Snowden Era. March 4 2015
By Jon Penney - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Bruce Schneier's book is a fantastic achievement-- extremely well written, structured, logically organized, and truly comprehensive in dealing with its timely subject matter-- how governments and corporations are increasingly monitoring citizens and appropriating our data to control and influence us. Schneier thoughtfully unpacks a diverse range of issues and challenges -- both technical, legal, political, social, etc. As someone who knows a bit about this space, I can sincerely say that I learned plenty from reading this book.

And yet, despite this broad coverage, the narrative is both practical and nimble, and accessible to a range of readers, from experts to your average consumer or citizen concerned about their privacy. Indeed, despite the complexity of what is at stake-- data surveillance-- the book never gets mired in any one issue or stuck in some technical, legal, or policy-oriented thicket. Schneier displays an uncanny economy of language in treating his subject-- he says what needs to be said, no more or less.

Most importantly, Schneier offers concrete solutions and recommendations for dealing with the challenges and threats of corporate and government data surveillance, including a great final chapter with suggestions for "the rest of us", as in, We, the People. At the same time, Schneier's evenhanded approach to the issues he tackles, often leads him to raise counter-arguments to the points he raises. This adds to the persuasiveness to his overall argument, but he also raises some disturbing realities-- like the relativity of what we feel is "creepy" or inappropriate kinds of government/corporate surveillance and related behavior. This sense of what is "creepy" will, Schneier points out, change over time, as social norms shift; so, does this mean that increasing invasive surveillance is inevitable as governments and corporations move the goal posts on what is acceptable forms of data practices, and wait for social norms to likewise shift?

Not necessarily. At least not, if we listen to Schneier, and follow his rational but impassioned call for action. Indeed, Schneier argues that we must be clear headed about the reasons why governments and corporations engage in surveillance (sometimes for good reason) but his ultimate message--- that against the abusive kinds of data surveillance and control-- we must avoid, resist, agitate for change, and not give up, is an essential one in the Post-Snowden Era. And this book, essential reading.

Jon Penney is a lawyer, research fellow at the Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto; a research affiliate of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University; and a doctoral student at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. This review was authored by use of an advanced copy of this manuscript.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa01aaad4) out of 5 stars The most eloquent and reasoned argument for data policy reform that I have ever read March 4 2015
By leonidg - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is the most thoughtful and reasoned discussions of privacy and security issues that I have ever read.

It's unbelievably difficult to find a real, thoroughly researched discussion about privacy and security that doesn't make you feel like you're hearing from a salesman. That's true for all political issues, but I think more so for these ones. After all, the issues are complex; the sea of acronyms, jargon, and organizations is enough to make most people's eyes glaze over; and the underlying technical principled—not to mention the legal ones—are anything but accessible.

This book does an incredible job of explaining the issues in a way that genuinely feels fair: the status quo is never conflated from the likely future, which is in turn never conflated with the speculative future. Analogies and simplifications are always presented as such. Quotes and arguments are presented from both sides of debates.

This seems obvious, but it's extremely rare to find and it makes this book a gem. The result is a compelling. trustworthy, eloquent, and practical discussion about the problems our society faces when it comes to the use and misuse of data. Schneier does an excellent job of presenting a very wide range of ideas and instances of nearly everything he talks about, with specific recommendations (for everyone ranging from average Internet users to legislators) sprinkled throughout. The tone and level of detail is balanced well: you don't at all need to be technical to follow, but you won't be bored even if you're a security expert.

Highly recommended for anyone who cares about privacy or security: even a little.