- File Size: 1703 KB
- Print Length: 316 pages
- Publisher: Catherine A. Fitzpatrick (January 25, 2014)
- Publication Date: January 25, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00I2CJKI6
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
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#1,112,129 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
- #729 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Specific Topics > Intelligence & Espionage
- #1090 in Books > Computers & Technology > Internet & Social Media > Hacking
- #2346 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Specific Topics > Intelligence & Espionage
Privacy for Me and Not for Thee: The Movement for Invincible Personal Encryption, Radical State Transparency, and the Snowden Hack Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
I'm also not an expert on the technical aspects of this story, so I can't speak to Ms. Fitzpatrick's treatment of this aspect. I did, however, find multiple basic errors of fact in her presentation. For example, Thomas Drake is described as a "former NSA official who left in 2010... [and] then successfully fought off a lawsuit against him launched by his former employers." Ummm, no. Drake wasn't sued. He was criminally charged, and those charges could have resulted in a sentence of thirty-five years. He went bankrupt successfully defending himself and now works in an Apple store. Ms. Fitzpatrick could have learned this from visiting his wikipedia page.
Anyone who is looking for an informed and informative take on Edward Snowden or the NSA will not find it here. This is less of a book about Snowden than it is about Ms. Fitzpatrick's strange obsessions. We get detailed descriptions of people who were mean to her on twitter. There are long and pointless digressions about her activities on Second Life, which Fitzpatrick seems to think is very, very important. We also are given lots of descriptions of Ms. Fitzpatrick's conversations with various Russians in which she recalls making very clever points between sharing "strong drink." The sense of inflated self-importance is truly hilarious, especially when set against the backdrop of her constant accusations that Mr. Snowden is a megalomaniac and narcissist.
In the end, her ludicrously hyperbolic central thesis-- that hackers constitute "the greatest, most pervasive tyranny in our time"-- remains unproven.
Author readily admits that she is "not a technologist" and proceeds to make poorly informed, sweeping statements about hackers (all of whom are apparently "anarchists"), hactivists (sp!), Anonymous, Wikileaks, and the "cult of open source software." Complaining that "little substantive critical analysis has come from the media about Snowden and his helpers at Wikileaks" she then makes veiled accusations and unsubstantiated claims that add nothing to what has been reported widely by various media outlets.
* Describes Chaos Computer Club as an "anarchist hackers' collective" whom she accuses of launching DDOS attacks (would love to know where this information comes from, but it hardly matters because an informal collective cannot defend itself against baseless accusations)
* Decries the term "hactivist" whom author equates with "coercive vandals of computer systems" (tip: Wikipedia is a decent start)
* In reference to Snowden/Assange/Wikileaks connection, "We do not know how they connected and absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." (evokes Rumsfeld's dubious claims about WMDs)
* If the author insists on defining the term "hacker" as one "who has made unauthorized access to a computer or network or who has tampered with programs or gadgets in ways not intended by their makers," then lumping them together with those who debate "first-sale doctrine or the values of creativity" is highly misleading to say the least.
* 2600: The Hacker Quarterly is a magazine, not a "veteran hacker's group"
* "While the Snowden camp is anxious to prove that they did not help the fugitive NSA contractor hack the NSA's files, there is no proof that they didn't give Snowden ideas to hack in back-and-forth conversations, either." (google: negative proof fallacy)
* "When James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, replied truthfully to the aggressive queries of Rep. Ron Wyden (D-WA) that no, the NSA does not wittingly keep files on millions of Americans, he was described as lying." (If you agree that Clapper's testimony was truthful, then you might enjoy this book after all)
Fitzpatrick asks extremely awkward and apposite questions about who was involved, with whom, when and where, and has gone to the enormous trouble of going back through the blogs, interviews, conference appearances, tweets and defunct newsletters, to dig out the facts. It is not a pretty picture. Snowden, Appelbaum, Assange and crew see themselves as the vanguard of the proletariat; with liberal/left deluded (and eventually expendable) fellow-travellers.
As she says in her conclusion:
"The nature of the society we get as a result of Snowden's calculated, coercive and wrenching disclosures matters. Just as Russia suffered at the hands of the Bolsheviks in 1917 even though they wished to end the Tsar's oppression, our country will suffer at the hands of people who themselves are willing to deceive others, lie, manipulate, take away others' rights and hide their tracks, all the way claiming that they are exonerated because supposedly the government does worse. Their ability to escape prosecution exploiting our liberties will not save us from their destruction of our liberty as a whole in the end."
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