Little Brother

Little Brother Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
“Trading privacy for security is stupid enough; not getting any actual security in the baragin is even more stupid.” ~ Bruce Schneier

This is the story of San Francisco becoming a police state following a terrorist attack, with constant surveillance and security checks, secret prisons and interrogations, all in the name of preserving safety and security, of merely retaining life while giving up liberty and the pursuit of happiness for the shot of maybe, someday, getting them back again. The pervading fear and paronoia, a government without bounds, a people too frightened or apathetic to care. They are so brainwashed by the media into a state of unquestioning subservience to a wise and benevolent state, which only has their best interests at heart, that they willingly go along with their invasive security measures, even if that means giving up their freedom. They are so cowed by the incessant reports of terror and crime and danger that they are quite willing to hand over their liberty for what they deem will be safety and assuarance of protection from harm.

Hopefully, this story will help people to really think critically about what is happening around them daily. Take a look at the security measures already in place. How effective are they? What is their real purpose? Look at the measures that are being proposed. What are the realistic repercussions if they are enacted? Consider the Paradox of the False Positive.

And what, you may ask, is so wrong about the government knowing where and when you bought coffee? Got gas? Passed through a toll booth? Withdrew cash? Rode a bus? Nothing. But it is another way of tracking you daily: where you have been, when, how frequently. And take a look at how governments around the world traditionally use that knowledge.

Here are a few words to ponder from survivors of the Jewish Holocaust…

“Complacency is more dangerous than hatred. Be aware of what is happening around you, and do something about it.” ~ Arnold Klein

“We must erase indifference from our society. You cannot be indifferent. If you are, you allow the forces of evil to win.” ~ Benjamin Meed

Content is mature. There is drinking, drugs, premarital relations, some profanity. Off-putting, yes. But it does not negate the fact that this is a book with ideas.

Recommended reading: Everyware by Adam Greenfield

Secrets and Lies by Bruce Schneier

Beyond Fear by Bruce Schneier

Check out freedom-to-tinker.com and tor.eff.org (The Onion Router)

“So close the book and go. The world is full of security systems. Hack one of them. Making vulnerabilities public forces security designers to design better security, and makes us all better consumers of security.”

View all my reviews.

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