Other Sellers on Amazon
Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance Hardcover – February 25, 2014
The Amazon Book Review
Book recommendations, author interviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
“Welcome to life in a society of ubiquitous surveillance, tracking and data mining... Angwin, a Wall Street Journal reporter who along with her colleagues has produced essential reporting on privacy and security … aims to illuminate the costs of living with systems that track nearly everything we do, think or say… [and] she performs a herculean effort to regain her privacy… A useful, well-reported study.” ―The Los Angeles Times
“I read Julia Angwin's new book Dragnet Nation… I heartily recommend it to you… [The book is an] antidote to Big Brother's big chill.” ―Bill Moyers
“A deeply researched book that is completely of the moment. Dragnet Nation moves right to the top of the list of books we should all read about privacy.” ―Salon
“Angwin's warning that ‘information is power' resonates.” ―The Daily Beast
“Angwin elegantly chronicles this tragedy of the digital commons at the level of policy and our individual civil liberties…Dragnet Nation really kicks in--and becomes a blast to read--when she fights back…If enough people follow Angwin's lead, new networks of computer users might manage to open up ever larger holes in the dragnet world.” ―Bookforum
“Entertaining… Pacy and eye-opening.” ―The Financial Times
“Angwin, a longtime reporter on digital privacy issues for the Wall Street Journal, releases the contemporary (and, unfortunately, nonfiction) companion book to Orwell's 1984. Dragnet Nation examines the surveillance economy and its effect on free speech and thought, likely causing readers to rethink the next words they type into a search engine.” ―LA Weekly
“[Angwin is] a privacy ninja.” ―Yahoo!'s Tech Modern Family
“Informative, conversational… [Angwin's] travails educate her (and her readers) about all the ways privacy-minded developers are working to develop anti-surveillance tools, and this forms a helpful guide for readers seeking non-jargony information on minimizing their digital footprints.” ―Columbia Journalism Review
“A new hot-button issue that touches both politics and business is privacy, and the erosion of privacy is examined in Dragnet Nation.” ―Publishers Weekly (Top 10 Business & Economics Books)
“Fascinating ... Angwin, who spent years covering privacy issues for the Wall Street Journal, draws on conversations with researchers, hackers and IT experts, surveying the modern dragnet tracking made possible by massive computing power, smaller devices and cheap storage of data...A solid work for both privacy freaks and anyone seeking tips on such matters as how to strengthen passwords.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“In this thought-provoking, highly accessible exploration of the issues around personal data-gathering, Julia Angwin provides a startling account of how we're all being tracked, watched, studied, and sorted. Her own (often very funny) attempts to maintain her online privacy demonstrate the ubiquity of the dragnet--and the near impossibility of evading it. I'll never use Google in the same way again.” ―Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of Happier at Home and The Happiness Project
“Julia Angwin's pathbreaking reporting for the Wall Street Journal about online tracking changed the privacy debate. Her new book represents another leap forward: by showing how difficult it was to protect her own privacy and vividly describing the social and personal costs, Angwin offers both a wakeup call and a thoughtful manifesto for reform. This is a meticulously documented and gripping narrative about why privacy matters and what we can do about it.” ―Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO, National Constitution Center, and author of The Unwanted Gaze and The Naked Crowd
“Dragnet Nation is an impressive picture of the new world of electronic surveillance -- from Google to the NSA. Julia Angwin's command of the technology is sure, her writing is clear, and her arguments are compelling. This is an authoritative account of why we should care about privacy and how we can protect ourselves.” ―Bruce Schneier, author of Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust That Society Needs to Thrive
“Dragnet Nation is a fascinating, compelling, and powerful read. Many of us would simply prefer not to know how much others know about us, and yet Julia Angwin opens a door onto that dark world in a way that both raises a new set of public issues and canvasses a range of solutions. We can reclaim our privacy while still enjoying the benefits of many types of surveillance – but only if we take our heads out of the sand and read this book.” ―Anne-Marie Slaughter, president and CEO, New America
About the Author
Julia Angwin is the author of Stealing MySpace and an award-winning investigative journalist for the independent news organization ProPublica. From 2000 to 2013 she was a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal, where she was on the team of reporters awarded the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of corporate corruption and led a team covering online privacy that was a finalist for a 2012 Pulitzer Prize. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.
- ASIN : 0805098070
- Publisher : Times Books; First edition (February 25, 2014)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780805098075
- ISBN-13 : 978-0805098075
- Item Weight : 1.05 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.55 x 1.02 x 9.46 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,096,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
She begins well enough with a broad survey of all of the ways we can be tracked and our privacy compromised by technology, some more alarming than others. She follows with a history of how they developed from simpler technologies into their current state. By chapter three we see her becoming increasingly foreboding, discussing the East German Stasi's methods and using them as a touchstone to determine how concerned we should or should not be about various activities undertaken by government or the private sector.
After these opening chapters, the book turns away from journalism and toward memoir, detailing Angwin's attempt to remove herself from the dragnet. In some cases she is more successful than others. She ultimately realizes there's not much of a developed market in privacy technology, as many of her technological tools turn out to be clumsy, not worth the effort to properly implement, or even downright failures as she illustrates very well in her discussion of companies that offer to disconnect you from the many Internet databases for a fee.
Dragnet Nation is at its best when illustrating how law enforcement's keystone cops handing of online chatters can lead us to alter our lives in a way inconsistent with a free society, as in the case of Yassir Affifi or Gulet Mohamed. Her journalism bringing these stories to light is a great example of the sort of reporting we need to keep our government honest. By comparison fretting about how companies might lower her purchasing willpower by targeting discounts at her in vulnerable moments seems comically out of place in terms of its social impact. Sometimes readers will cringe about what sounds like very real threats to their liberty but wonder why they're really supposed to care about others.
Dragnet Nation suffers from its failure to consider the government's side of these issues. She takes for granted that privacy is an unquestioned good, never seriously considering whether the government's limited resources might explain its intrusive methodologies. Ultimately, though, Dragnet Nation's biggest failing is that it never establishes what true privacy is and why it really matters. In the last chapter, she offers some tests to use in evaluating when a threat to privacy may be of concern, but her thoughts are left underdeveloped and comes too late to help the reader evaluate whether the many threats Angwin identifies and against which she tried to protect herself are valid. A more robust consideration of such issues up front would have provided her reader with a better guide to understanding what is at stake when dealing with these issues.
I am a technically savvy person only to an average degree. But I could tell from her discussion that the author is not seriously techie about any of the subjects she discussed. Advanced dissertations on the topics in the book was not what I was looking for when I bought the book, and if that is what you want, this is not the book for you. However, if you want to understand how privacy in your life has been impacted by government and industry, then this book is a must read.