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Hacking the Future: Privacy, Identity, and Anonymity on the Web Hardcover – September 13, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Epic Win for Anonymous:

"A primer on why the Internet works the way it does today." — Salon

'A recommended pick for computer and social issues holdings alike." — Midwest Review

“Sharp, witty, and well-researched.” — The Rumpus

“Stryker is cogent and hilarious … You’ll be delighted by this clever, informative cultural history.” — – Rachel Fershleiser

“This sharp guide avoids the fear, condescension, and hand waving that dominate the mainstream coverage of Internet culture, instead revealing what actually goes on day-to-day at one of the Web’s weirdest yet most important online communities … satisfying [and] thoroughly researched.” — – Nick Douglas

“A recommended pick for computer and social issues holdings alike." — Midwest Book Review

"A multilayered and well-reasoned retort against all those who would seek to erase anonymity from the Web … One of the most well-informed examinations of the Internet available today." — Kirkus Reviews

"[Cole Stryker] makes a compelling case for anonymity (and pseudonymity) using dozens of real-life case studies." — The Daily Dot

"Stryker presents a strong defense of anonymity and explores some of the tools and organizations relating to this issue, especially as it has evolved with the ubiquity of the Internet. Cogent and compelling, his examination of online identities, both false and real, is an essential read for the social-networking age." — LaughingSquid.com

"Hacking the Future does an admirable job of laying out the current state of affairs on the internet, and it lays a good groundwork for understanding the darker side of the internet, giving its reader a fair assessment of what we should fear, and what we should not… Even if you don’t fully accept the argument that privacy and anonymity is the primary issue for the future of the internet, Hacking the Future presents a cohesive argument as to why we should protect these things regardless." — TheVerge.com

"Perhaps the best part of Hacking the Future is an analysis of what anonymity means in terms of its cost, a balancing of the value of what’s hidden against the effort to hide and the effort to unmask." — New York Journal of Books

About the Author

Cole Stryker is a freelance writer and media consultant based in New York City. He is the author of Epic Win for Anonymous, the first book to tell the story of the genesis of the Internet-based protest groups and creative memes currently changing our world. Stryker has been interviewed about his writing by The New York Times, Reuters, New York Observer, Salon, and The Rumpus.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook Books (September 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781590209745
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590209745
  • ASIN: 1590209745
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #930,035 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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See all 43 customer reviews
Cole Stryker does a great job on taking on web anonymity in his book: Hacking the Future.
Karin Englund
After completing the book, I had a better understanding, as Stryker really makes you think in ways that you never thought possible.
Kresten Ballantyne
I really enjoyed this book, It was very easy to read and understand the gist of this book.
Natalia

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Andrew D. Oram on January 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover
A useful history, with valid arguments for the protection of privacy and anonymity, but the book could have been better. If I were Stryker's editor, I would start by asking him to be clear when he is speaking to a sophisticated audience of Internet-savvy readers (probably the bulk of the people who will buy the book) and when he is addressing a more general public in a journalistic manner. Although he makes off-hand references to events only an Internet veteran would know, I think he routinely assumes he's talking to a less technically adept reader in order to forgo the rigour of explaining complex topics. Unfortunately, such rigour is sometimes necessary because the devil often lies in the details (such as to explain why one type of anonymizing service is more effective than another). I do, however, ultimately respect his defence of anonymity and his sober discussion of the measures people and institutions could take to mitigate against its bad aspects. Stryker's logic is sometimes hard to follow (I don't believe his conclusion is always reachable from his arguments) and he indulges in oddities such as declaring that the FCC's regulation of the Internet consists only of the "four freedoms" enunciated by Chairman Michael Powell in 2004. His points about anonymity have circulated widely for years, so in order for his book to play a useful role as a canonical, principled statement, it should have been more disciplined and better organized.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C.J. Tremblay on June 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Every non-specialist on the Internet and its arcane technology should read this book. I guarantee you will no longer consult Google, post on your Facebook page, or send and receive emails with the same nonchalance as before.

Stryker offers much more than a philosophical discussion of the importance of privacy in modern day life. Along with a defense of anonymity and its link with free speech, he gives us a hands-on explanation of actions anyone can take to preserve their personal identity when "surfing". The information is presented in a completely readable and most enjoyable style.

As the author of the political novel "The Patriot Conspiracy"--about a president who conspires to abolish cash and establish a compulsory government credit card--imagine my pleasure in finding a kindred spirit when I read, on page 132, "A government that monitors and controls the flow of currency is a government that, benevolently or not, controls its people."

For its philosophical stand and its practical advice, I give this book 5 stars.

Carole Jean Tremblay, author "The Patriot Conspiracy"
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Format: Hardcover
Nathaniel Shapiro

4/16/13

Comm. 228

Prof. Sharma

Hacking the Future Review

As someone who has little knowledge of the new age cyber world I found Stryker's book most intriguing although hard to understand. To sum it up as short as possible, Cole Stryker touches on how anonymity on the web is, although dangerous, a necessity for keeping your identity safe. This how ever didn't seem to be the main focus as much as focusing on the idea that the web is a fore front for cyber warfare.
I had never taken much thought into the varying uses and users of the web along with the unknowing of who may be monitoring your web activity. One of the more interesting facts that encompasses most of Stryker's counter argument that he brings to light is Randi Zuckerberg's perspective that anonymity should be abolished from the web. Its a little scary to think about Stryker's idea of calling computers and social networking extensions of our selves especially due to the perspective and assumptions created about someone due to what the internet says about someone and the power that information holds. In the wrong hands certain information could ruin peoples lives or progressively make their lives better. By far the most useful tidbit of information I found in this book was the section on fiddling with your internet preferences as it speaks directly to the public on the most basic and easy to understand ways of keeping your personal information from spreading through out the web like wild fire. The process that these hackers and cyber punks go through to keep their identities secret is beyond me. Whats even more impressive is the impact on masses of people strictly absorbed from words that are spoken by masked individuals.
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Format: Hardcover
Stryker in Hacking the Future, he provides his readers with an eye opening, insightful, and in-depth story about Privacy, Identity, and Anonymity on the Web, which grabbed my attention just a few pages in. Hacking the Future is more than just a discussion about a particular group and how they banned together and fought for the things they believed in. It is a book that opens your mind to a whole new world and a whole new way of thinking.

Before reading Stryker’s book, I never heard of the group Anonymous. When I first started reading I was very intrigued and very interested, however I was confused to as what was Anonymous and what was their purpose.

After completing the book, I had a better understanding, as Stryker really makes you think in ways that you never thought possible. He takes his readers on a journey throughout the history of Anonymous and how they became widely famous by making their presence known with their attacks on individuals and groups. I enjoyed reading about Anonymous and I was surprised and was very interesting to know that they took place in Occupy Wall Street, which took place a couple streets from where I live, and even how they took a stand against the Church of Scientology.

I highly recommend this book, as it was a fantastic read. It was very innovative and very informative on the history as well as the world of Anonymous, and on the Privacy, Identity, and Anonymity on the Web.
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