After Snowden: Privacy, Secrecy and Security in the Information Age (by Ronald Goldfarb, Edward Wasserman, and David Cole)
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What I found most amazing about this book
I found it equally amazing and disturbing that in our constitution nothing was mentioned on the topic of ‘privacy.’ Not a word, nary a mention…NOTHING. This is problematic because where there is no mention, there are no rules. Herein lies the premise of this book. Because there are no rules applying to privacy, there is a tendency of the government to “stretch” the powers of information gathering in the United States and on its citizens. When every telephone call, email, text message, Facebook post or tweet is subject to interception and interpretation (let alone, occasional misinterpretation), we find ourselves sort of cast at sea without a paddle. This is causing us to question everything that is going on for the purpose of “security.” Those who have questioned these policies and practices have done so because they feel it is the most sensible thing to do and that we have the right as citizens to know. It is a subject that will be debated over for years to come!
What I DIDN’T like about this book
I cannot find much to dislike about this book. I suppose the only thing I could say is that I wish the people in charge of some of the covert programs that are currently in operation would take a moment to seriously reevaluate the potential long term damage this may be causing to the American people. I would also like to for them to be more forthright concerning what our rights are turning into during the Information Age. I imagine that they have some ideas, but are hesitant to share because of the anticipated backlash (or, perhaps they just don’t feel we need to know). Regardless, I just think it might be better for us all in the long haul. Constant paranoia and pessimism is probably not a healthy state of mind in the nation’s big picture. I think it’s fair to say that George Orwell (author of 1984 and the ‘big brother’ concept) is probably doing somersaults in his grave.
Whom would I recommend to read this book?
I would certainly encourage anyone and everyone to read this book. No age is either too young or unsophisticated to realize that most of our ‘technological engagements’ – from smartphone calls, texts, Facebook and Twitter posts, and simple emails ALL may be subject to review and even more. We may think that we don’t have any “friends” that are under surveillance, but THEY may have second or third degree “friends” who MIGHT BE. So, if we are all just fine with the likelihood of falling prey to unwanted surveillance – like Edward Snowden, Bradley (a.k.a. “Chelsea”) Manning and others have claimed) – then perhaps we are overreacting. If we’re not fine with this, then perhaps we’re not overreacting one bit.