Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Internet Police by Nate Anderson

The Internet Police: How Crime Went Online, and the Cops Followed, Nate Anderson. New York: Norton, W.W. & Company, Ince., 2013. e-book, 269 pps.

     The Internet Police starts off with a recounting of Ryan Lackey and HavenCo living in a rusty old ocean fort called Sealand. [At one time, Sealand was listed as a micro-nation but I do not know how accurate that description was. It appears from this book that it never was up for squatters' rights]. Stories about John Perry Barlow, stolen laptops, a hacking stalker, e-mail bomb threats, various and sundry F.B.I. spy programs, Smilin' Bob ads on television and the promise of larger penises with pills, the viciousness of RIAA prosecution, spam, and the darknet.

sapphoq reviews says: For those who have an inadequate grasp on why the rest of us are so angry at the United States government and the actions of Big Hollywood, The Internet Police is as good a place as any to start. Notably lacking was information about Anonymous, the phone phreaks, and a resolution to the conflicts.
     Nate Anderson is correct that if the Internet winds up with a set of laws, those laws will be designed to placate the countries with the most money and biggest mouths-- the United States for sure, and probably the U.K., and maybe Germany-- and a certain amount of random chaos will be lost. This I think is rather unfortunate because we need makers and creators and hackers in order for society to thrive.
     The assumption that anonymity on the internet is "bad" is an unfortunate one that some percentage of the population continue to believe. I've seen vicious attacks on Fake Book where [it is assumed] that [cough, cough] folks who hang there are doing so under their wallet names and wallet info.
     Until the United States dismantles or revamps the N.S.A., I cannot condone any call for Internet i.d. numbers or registration before using a computer on-line. I don't trust the gatherers of information and at this point I certainly do not trust my government. 
     In spite of my personal misgivings, The Internet Police is an interesting read. Recommended.

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