Monday, November 10, 2014

Book Review #116 - Black Code by Ronald J. Deibert

Book 40 of 52
Page count - 312

The author tackles a very large and very complex subject here.  On-line security means something different depending on who you are addressing.  Individuals may not want to use their credit cards on dodgy websites; national leaders may want to protect military secrets; criminals may be looking for ways to exploit vulnerabilities.

Since the world is largely migrating to the internet the subject of security needs to be studied very seriously.  We are living in the cave-man days of the internet and it's very important to remember that and to understand just how vulnerable things really are.

Black Code is a scary book.

My blood was chilled after reading Chapter 3 about big data and how all these cherished free services (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) are just sucking up so much information about us, individually.  What we choose to share on-line can go further than we know;  upload a picture and all the meta data goes up with it.  This includes the date the photo was taken, the GPS information, the type of device used to take the picture.  Facial recognition software can work to identify everyone in the photo ... and on it goes.

It's not just what were posting but many mobile apps are also uploading our contact lists, our movements in and out of cell towers and WiFi hotspots. 

It truly feels like an invasion of my privacy when my whole day can be reconstructed from where my phone has been and how I've used it.

The book continues to expand on the subject by moving into the world of governments, hackers, military espionage, organized crime and oppression.

The subject is so large I found myself starting to gloss over what I was reading.  But I believe it to be a very important book if you are interested in the subject.  What it will do is change how you look at what you are doing with your cell phone or computer.  It will also point you in directions for further reading.

Here are some websites I visited after reading this book.

The Citizen Lab

Canada Centre for Global Security Studies

National Cyber Security Awareness Month. 

Ronald J. Deibert

Paperback cover


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