According to John Battelle, a company that answers that question — in all its shades of meaning — can unlock the most intractable riddles of business and arguably of human culture itself. And for the past few years, that's exactly what Google has been doing. Jumping into the game long after Yahoo, Alta Vista, Excite, Lycos, and other pioneers, Google offered a radical new approach to search, redefined the idea of viral marketing, survived the dot com crash, and pulled off the largest and most talked-about initial public offering in the history of Silicon Valley. But The Search offers much more than the inside story of Google's triumph.
It's also a big-picture book about the past, present, and future of search technology and the enormous impact it's starting to have on marketing, media, pop culture, dating, job hunting, international law, civil liberties, and just about every other sphere of human interest. More than any of its rivals, Google has become the gateway to instant knowledge. Hundreds of millions of people use it to satisfy their wants, needs, fears, and obsessions, creating an enormous artifact that Battelle calls the Database of Intentions. Somewhere in Google's archives, for instance, you can find the agonized research of a gay man with AIDS, the silent plotting of a would-be bomb maker, and the anxiety of a woman checking out her blind date.
Combined with the databases of thousands of other search-driven businesses, large and small, it all adds up to a gold mine of information that powerful organizations including the government will want to get their hands on. Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge.
The world that he remembers was much as we know it today. Now, as he regains his faculties through a cure developed during the years of his near-fatal decline, he discovers that the world has changed and so has his place in it. With knowledge comes risk. When Robert begins to re-train at Fairmont High, learning with other older people what is second nature to Miri and other teens at school, he unwittingly becomes part of a wide-ranging conspiracy to use technology as a tool for world domination.
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In a world where every computer chip has Homeland Security built-in, this conspiracy is something that baffles even the most sophisticated security analysts, including Robert's son and daughter-in law, two top people in the U. And even Miri, in her attempts to protect her grandfather, may be entangled in the plot. As Robert becomes more deeply involved in conspiracy, he is shocked to learn of a radical change planned for the UCSD Geisel Library; all the books there, and worldwide, would cease to physically exist.
He and his fellow re-trainees feel compelled to join protests against the change. With forces around the world converging on San Diego, both the conspiracy and the protest climax in a spectacular moment as unique and satisfying as it is unexpected. This is science fiction at its very best, by a master storyteller at his peak. The misuse of information systems by wired workers—either through error or by intent—is discussed in detail, as are possible results such as leaked or corrupted data, crippled networks, lost productivity, legal problems, or public embarrassment.
This analysis of an extensive four-year research project conducted by the authors covers not only a range of security solutions for at-risk organizations but also the perceptions and attitudes of employees toward workplace surveillance. Who Controls the Internet? Will the future of the Net be set by Internet engineers, rogue programmers, the United Nations, or powerful countries? Who's really in control of what's happening on the Net?
In this provocative new book, Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu tell the fascinating story of the Internet's challenge to governmental rule in the s, and the ensuing battles with governments around the world. It's a book about the fate of one idea: that the Internet might liberate us forever from government, borders, and even our physical selves. We learn of Google's struggles with the French government and Yahoo's capitulation to the Chinese regime; of how the European Union sets privacy standards on the Net for the entire world; and of eBay's struggles with fraud and how it slowly learned to trust the FBI.
In a decade of events the original vision is uprooted, as governments time and time again assert their power to direct the future of the Internet. The destiny of the Internet over the next decades, argue Goldsmith and Wu, will reflect the interests of powerful nations and the conflicts within and between them. While acknowledging the many attractions of the earliest visions of the Internet, the authors describe the new order, and speaking to both its surprising virtues and unavoidable vices.
Far from destroying the Internet, the experience of the last decade has lead to a quiet rediscovery of some of the oldest functions and justifications for territorial government. While territorial governments have unavoidable problems, it has proven hard to replace what legitimacy governments have, and harder yet to replace the system of rule of law that controls the unchecked evils ofanarchy.
While the Net will change some of the ways that territorial states govern, it will not diminish the oldest and most fundamental roles of government and challenges of governance. Well written and filled with fascinating examples, including colorful portraits of many key players in Internet history, this is a work that is bound to stir heated debate in the cyberspace community.
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Each of these routine transactions leaves a digital trail, logging your movements, schedules, habits and political beliefs for government agencies and businesses to access. As cutting-edge historian and journalist Christian Parenti points out in this urgent and timely book, these everyday intrusions on privacy, while harmless in themselves, are part of a relentless expansion of routine surveillance in American life over the last two centuries.
Vivid and chilling, The Soft Cage explores the hidden history of surveillance--from controlling slaves in the old South to implementing early criminal justice, tracking immigrants, and even establishing modern social work. It also explores the role computers play in creating a whole new world of seemingly benign technologies--such as credit cards, website "cookies," electronic toll collection, "data mining.
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With fears of personal and national security at an all-time high, this ever-growing infrastructure of high-tech voyeurism is shifting the balance of power between individuals and the state in groundbreaking--and very dangerous--ways. From closed-circuit television cameras to the Department of Homeland Security, The Soft Cage offers a compelling, vitally important history lesson for every American concerned about the expansion of surveillance into our public and private lives. In this extensively documented and thoroughly researched tale, he offers many stories of the courage and fortitude of librarians opposed to this program, from the jailing of Zoia Horn to the eloquent indignation of Columbia University's Paula Kaufman and the tenacious probing of Jim Schmidt and the American Library Association's Intellectual Freedom Committee.
The chapters on the political ramifications of the program and the legal context of library confidentiality are also valuable--although it is possible to argue with some of Foerstal's conclusions. But this illuminating, cautionary work is bound to remain an authoritative source on a vitally important subject. It scrutinizes individual surveillance systems - CCTV, biometrics, intelligent transportation systems, smart cards, on-line profiling - and discusses their implications for our future.
Surveillance as Social Sorting is a fascinating contribution to a relatively new field - surveillance studies. The FICO score is often the major factor in determining how much consumers pay for mortgages, refinancing, auto loans and credit cards, as well as for auto or homeowners insurance. Despite its importance, credit scoring began as a secret system, and has been shrouded in mystery ever since.
In addition, there is little understanding of the credit reporting system, which holds financial histories on million Americans and is the source of data for calculating credit scores. One problem: the credit reporting system has a long history of inaccuracy. But they're also powerful tools for someone hoping to find you. Widely available in electronic and paper formats, maps offer revealing insights into our movements and activities, even our likes and dislikes.
In Spying with Maps, the "mapmatician" Mark Monmonier looks at the increased use of geographic data, satellite imagery, and location tracking across a wide range of fields such as military intelligence, law enforcement, market research, and traffic engineering. Could these diverse forms of geographic monitoring, he asks, lead to grave consequences for society? To assess this very real threat, he explains how geospatial technology works, what it can reveal, who uses it, and to what effect.
Despite our apprehension about surveillance technology, Spying with Maps is not a jeremiad, crammed with dire warnings about eyes in the sky and invasive tracking.
Monmonier's approach encompasses both skepticism and the acknowledgment that geospatial technology brings with it unprecedented benefits to governments, institutions, and individuals, especially in an era of asymmetric warfare and bioterrorism. Monmonier frames his explanations of what this new technology is and how it works with the question of whether locational privacy is a fundamental right. Does the right to be left alone include not letting Big Brother or a legion of Little Brothers know where we are or where we've been? What sacrifices must we make for homeland security and open government?
At last count, there were an estimated Many of these web sites begin and end with vacation photos or an excellent recipe for chile rellenos. But a few blogs establish followings that are comparable to small town newspapers or a popular talk show radio stations. These followings evolve from simple lists of subscribers into communities and even political movements.
Glenn Reynolds is one of the celebrity bloggers whose web site instapundit. Reynolds's book, which is only partialy about the blog phenomenon, reveals many of the tricks of the political blogger -- well respected personal hobbies brewing beer, producing CDs , quirky political views put more guns on planes , commitment to futurism ideas on terraforming Mars , and a general optimism about the ability of technology to level the playing field, eliminate the dinosaurs, and solve world problems. There is much in the book to debate. But that is, after all, also the material of a good political blog.
The NSA has long eluded public scrutiny, but The Puzzle Palace penetrates its vast network of power and unmasks the people who control it, often with shocking disregard for the law. With detailed information on the NSA's secret role in the Korean Airlines disaster, Iran-Contra, the first Gulf War, and other major world events of the 80s and 90s, this is a brilliant account of the use and abuse of technological espionage.
The story of Frank Wilkinson, who passed away just last month, is one that needs to be told, in order to remind us that fear and political opportunism are often the greatest threats to free speech. Robert Sherrill's account of Wilkinson's various struggles with J. When called before HUAC in , Wilkinson refused to answer questions about his political affiliations, citing not the Fifth Amendment, but the First. When he lost his Supreme Court appeal in , he was jailed for nine months for contempt of Congress. Upon his release, he campaigned for the abolition of HUAC, finally succeeding in Sherrill's book provides wide-ranging and vivid context for its subject, covering Wilkinson's college years through his vindication, but the author's perspectives and allegiances are clear.
This does not, however, diminish the facts of Wilkinson's defiance. Make no mistake--this is a political book, written with an eye on the parallels between the climates of suspicion both then and now. Drawing on many international sources, Gutwirth examines challenges to privacy posed by new technologies, ultimately arguing that privacy is central to personal freedom, and that personal freedom is central to democracy.
While government officials refuse to discuss specifics, James Risen's "State of War" sheds more light on this subject than any other source. It's a particularly interesting read, however, for those seeking new information about the NSA's surveillance program, since Risen is one of the reporters who recently revealed the operation's existence after more than a year of investigation.
There are still many questions about the circumstances, details, and legality of the NSA's domestic surveillance, but "State of War" takes the first steps toward answering them. There are few technologies transforming the world as rapidly as RFID. The graph for deployment looks something like the right half of the letter "U. Today Walmart and the Department of Defense require major suppliers to include the "talking ID tag" in all their products.
Talk about liftoff. So, there is a real issue and there are real policy questions. Sure, it is fine to chip your dog, but what about your daughter or your weird Aunt Sally? And if the chips aren't actually placed under the skin, as one Florida company is eager to do, what if the chip is embedded in your daughter's student ID card or Aunt Sally's prescription bottles? And what advice do we give to those visiting the United States who may soon be required to carry an RFID-enabled immigration document?
Bring tin foil? There is much here for Orwellian paranoia. But what makes Spychips such a compelling book is that Albrecht and McIntyre stay focused on what is actually happening today. They are also funny, clever, engaging, and informative. Much of the best material comes from the other side. If you really want to be creeped out, take a look at the patent applications for some of the RFID services on the horizon or attend the trade shows, listen to the speakers, and read the product announcements.
Albrecht and McIntyre have done all this. Their reporting from behind enemy lines is first-rate. A good advocacy book also needs good recommendations. The authors cover these bases well, providing advice for local protests and national campaigns. Computer Privacy Annoyances by Dan Tynan. Dan Tynan's Computer Privacy Annoyances gets it right: the book provides excellent advice on how to protect privacy without turning the reader into a paranoid. The book has one of the best "top ten" steps to protect privacy I've read.
He covers privacy at home, work, and on the Internets. He also covers privacy in public, an increasingly important topic in an age of ubiquitous cameras and nagging offline requests for personal data at retail stores. A prescient section of the book discusses the privacy risks associated with social network software, systems that many even in the privacy community have adopted.
Oddly enough, O'Reilly the publisher stuck a registration card in Tynan's book. A careful reader of Tynan's book will learn that such product registration cards are just marketing tools and should be dispatched to the recycling bin. Active Liberty, based on the Tanner lectures on Human Values that Justice Stephen Breyer delivered at Harvard University in November , defines that term as a sharing of the nation's sovereign authority with its citizens.
Regarding the Constitution as a guide for the application of basic American principles to a living and changing society rather than as an arsenal of rigid legal means for binding and restricting it, Justice Breyer argues that the genius of the Constitution rests not in any static meaning it might have had in a world that is dead and gone, but in the adaptability of its great principles to cope with current problems. Giving us examples of this interpretation in the areas of free speech, federalism, privacy, affirmative action, statutory interpretation, and administrative law, Justice Breyer states that courts should take greater account of the Constitution's democratic nature when they interpret constitutional and statutory texts.
He also insists that the people must develop political experience as well, and obtain the moral education and stimulus that come from correcting their own errors. His distinctive contribution to the federalism debate is his claim that deference to congressional power can actually promote democratic participation rather than thwart it. He argues convincingly that although Congress is not perfect, it has done a better job than either the executive or judicial branches at balancing the conflicting views of citizens across the nation, especially during times of national crisis.
With a fine appreciation for complexity, Breyer reminds all Americans that Congress, rather than the courts, is the place to resolve policy disputes. Stone delineates the consistent suppression of free speech in six historical periods from the Sedition Act of to the Vietnam War, and ends with a coda that examines the state of civil liberties in the Bush era. Full of fresh legal and historical insight, Perilous Times magisterially presents a dramatic cast of characters who influenced the course of history over a two-hundred-year period: from the presidents —- Adams, Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, and Nixon —- to the Supreme Court justices -— Taney, Holmes, Brandeis, Black, and Warren -—to the resisters —- Clement Vallandingham, Emma Goldman, Fred Korematsu, and David Dellinger.
Filled with dozens of rare photographs, posters, and historical illustrations, Perilous Times is resonant in its call for a new approach in our response to grave crises. Sheldon Charrett is a long-time fighter for identity freedom, and now has taken the battle into the challenging arena of the 21st century. In this revised and updated edition of his best-selling book The Modern Identity Changer, you will learn how to acquire a new identity, produce the documents necessary to support it, and obtain residence, credit, employment and banking privileges to enjoy it.
Read all-new and expanded information on:. Most of the rights that you enjoy go way beyond what the Constitution requires. In The War on the Bill of Rights-and the Gathering Resistance, nationally syndicated columnist and Village Voice mainstay Nat Hentoff draws on untapped sources-from reporters, resisters, and civil liberties law professors across the country to administration insiders-to piece together the true dimensions of the current assault on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Both Patriot Acts increase electronic surveillance of Americans, with minimal judicial supervision. Hentoff refocuses attention on domestic surveillance initiatives established by unilateral executive actions, such as Operation TIPS and the Total Information Awareness System, both still quietly functioning. Hentoff chronicles the inevitable rise of citizen's groups against these gross infringements, comparing today's Bill of Rights Defense Committees to Samuel Adams's Sons of Liberty, whose campaign against the British helped to precipitate the American Revolution.
Afforded little coverage in the major media, the Bill of Rights Defense Committees now have spread to nearly one hundred cities and towns nationwide. Hentoff quotes Lance Morrow, who wrote, If Americans win a war not just against Saddam Hussein but the longer-term struggle and lose the Constitution, they will have losteverything. The real struggle of history is going on beneath the surface. In Twelve Hawks' world, the good guys are the Travelers, select humans born to enlighten mankind and resist the dominance of the evil Tabula.
The Tabula are a dark and powerful group that operates outside the strictures of government, working behind the scenes to establish a panoptic world of perfect control.
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The Tabula employ high-tech, privacy-invasive tools such as video surveillance, RFIDs, biometrics, and Carnivore to track and eliminate threats to their master plan. They also manipulate the "Vast Machine," a matrix of media, government, and corporate messages that fills people's minds with selective information and distracts them from the reality that their lives are externally constructed and controlled, preventing them from questioning the status quo.
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Travelers -- who include Buddha, Jesus Christ, and Joan of Arc among their fallen ranks -- inspire people to break free of the illusions generated by the Vast Machine. Instead of killing the Travelers, as the Tabula have done in the past, they now want to harness the Travelers' powers as part of the larger plan to build the perfect panopticon. The Traveler manages to weave technology, philosophy, history, mysticism and pop culture into an epic story, making for an entertaining and thoughtful read.
While not a literary novel in the style of Orwell or Kafka, The Traveler is a story that has the potential to raise questions about the state of privacy among popular audiences. The book is currently on the New York Times Bestseller list and is set to become a movie early next year. Lawrence Lessig could be called a cultural environmentalist.
One of America's most original and influential public intellectuals, his focus is the social dimension of creativity: how creative work builds on the past and how society encourages or inhibits that building with laws and technologies. In his two previous books, Code and The Future of Ideas, Lessig concentrated on the destruction of much of the original promise of the Internet. Now, in Free Culture, he widens his focus to consider the diminishment of the larger public domain of ideas.
In this powerful wake-up call he shows how short-sighted interests blind to the long-term damage they're inflicting are poisoning the ecosystem that fosters innovation. All creative works-books, movies, records, software, and so on-are a compromise between what can be imagined and what is possible-technologically and legally.
For more than two hundred years, laws in America have sought a balance between rewarding creativity and allowing the borrowing from which new creativity springs. The original term of copyright set by the Constitution in was seventeen years. Now it is closer to two hundred. Thomas Jefferson considered protecting the public against overly long monopolies on creative works an essential government role. What did he know that we've forgotten?
Lawrence Lessig shows us that while new technologies always lead to new laws, never before have the big cultural monopolists used the fear created by new technologies, specifically the Internet, to shrink the public domain of ideas, even as the same corporations use the same technologies to control more and more what we can and can't do with culture. As more and more culture becomes digitized, more and more becomes controllable, even as laws are being toughened at the behest of the big media groups.
What's at stake is our freedom-freedom to create, freedom to build, and ultimately, freedom to imagine. Anyone who uses Google should read the first two chapters of this book, as it explains the basic and more advanced search techniques available. After chapter two, things get interesting. Long explains how to use Google to access information anonymously, and then dives into discovering site vulnerabilities and personal information on the Internet.
It concludes with common-sense approaches to securing your own servers against the search techniques explained earlier in the book. A major clothing seller once declared that, "an educated consumer is our best customer.
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Selden and Colvin argue that businesses should divide their customer bases into "angel" and "demon" consumers. Demons are those who pay their credit card bills in full, buy products that are discounted, return items, or those who spend sales associates' time asking questions about products. In other words, the authors imply that frugal, smart shoppers who do their homework are demonic. Angels should be rewarded, while demons' behavior should be shaped so that it becomes more profitable for the business. Change Language. English Arabic. Important Links.
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