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Surveillance or Security?: The Risks Posed by New Wiretapping Technologies (MIT Press) Hardcover – January 28, 2011
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Landau's well-researched writing is a superb resource for the citizen who wants to be an informed participant in the civil rights debate that is succinctly summarized in the title.(Hilarie Orman IEEE Cipher)
An extremely important book. Landau has the remarkable talent of taking very broad issues and detailing them in a concise, yet comprehensive manner…This book is the definitive text on the topic and it is a title that needs to be read.(Ben Rothke Slashdot)
By carefully explaining the ways in which excessive surveillance can undermine security, this informative and provocative book turns on its head the traditiona -- and misleading -- assumption that national security and civil liberties must always be balanced against each other, as if they were mutually exclusive objectives on opposite sides of the scale. Landau demonstrates a rare and extremely valuable combination of both technical expertise and policy savvy, and the material is presented in way that is accessible for the general public yet specific enough to guide policymakers in Congress and the Executive branch -- for whom it should be required reading. I have been working in the national security arena for over 25 years, and following cybersecurity issues for nearly 15 years, and still found in this book fresh insights and new information that will make a valuable contribution to the important policy debates at the intersection of privacy and security.(Suzanne E. Spaulding, Bingham McCutchen, LLP; former Assistant General Counsel, C.I.A.; former Executive Director, National Commission on Terrorism)
Governments have been trying to control the Internet since the early 1990s, when they realized that it would change everything and they didn't understand how. Much of the 1990s was spent on the Crypto Wars, as governments tried to control surveillance online. One of the veterans, Susan Landau, gives us a perspective on where the battle lines are now and where surveillance is likely to go in the future.(Ross J. Anderson, Professor of Security Engineering, University of Cambridge)
Susan Landau has taken an exceptionally complex but vital subject and presented it in a clear and compelling way. The ability of a citizen to securely communicate with her peers lies at the heart of the rule of law. Landau demonstrates the necessity of protecting that right amidst the technological changes that can greatly alter the balance of power between citizens and governments.(Jonathan Zittrain, Professor of Law and Professor of Computer Science, Harvard University; author, The Future of the Internet -- And How to Stop It)
About the Author
Susan Landau is the coauthor (with Whitfield Diffie) of Privacy on the Line: The Politics of Wiretapping and Encryption (MIT Press, updated and expanded edition, 2007, 2010).
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Top Customer Reviews
Surveillance or Security? is one of the most pragmatic books on the topic is that the author never once uses the term Big Brother. Far too many books on privacy and surveillance are filled with hysteria and hyperbole and the threat of an Orwellian society. This book sticks to the raw facts and details the current state, that of insecure and porous networks around a surveillance society.
In this densely packed work, Susan Landau, a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University details the myriad layers around surveillance, national security, information security and privacy. Landau writes that her concern is not about legally authorized law enforcement and nationally security wiretapping; rather about the security risks of building surveillance into communications infrastructures.
Landau details numerous reasons why communications security is hard to do right; but an imperative for our ultimate security, privacy and digital wellbeing.
In 250 pages, Landau makes a compelling case. In addition to her superb handle on the topic, the book has over 80 pages of footnotes, where every quote, statement and claim is verified and confirmed. The book is a great launching pad for a much deeper analysis on the topic.Read more ›
The book is clearly organized, and the writing style suits me, a non-techie, perfectly. Explanations are clear and evidence is abundant.
Landau begins with a survey of internet architecture (a couple of chapters she advises that some readers may wish to skip). She progresses to a pithy synopsis of the legal aspects of wiretapping and notes that postal privacy extends to a 1792 act which was re-affirmed in an 1878 US Supreme Court decision, this specifying the need for a warrant to open first class mail. She notes that government wiretapping began with the advent of the telegraph and ramped up during Prohibition (the Roy Olmsted case being an intriguing example of court dealings with the matter). Setting somewhat of a precedent for future rulings, the Court found in favor of the government in that case, but the sanctity of electronic communications was ardently defended in a lone dissenting opinion rendered by the distinguished jurist, Louis Brandeis. In a rare act of virtue, in 1934 Congress passed legislation which prohibited "unauthorized" interception of wired communications as a follow-up to the Radio Act of 1927. The entire precarious edifice (what constitutes, "unauthorized"?) was unwittingly crumbled by FDR during WW-II in response to a "national security" plea to wiretap "spies" by the Surveillance King, J.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
All the recent press concerning eavesdropping and surveillance are OLD news.
This book chronicles the past and present in understandable form. Read more
A book of what is happening today. The news all over the televisions has the latest whistle blowers telling us the same thing. Read morePublished on December 24, 2013 by Mary Eddards
There is alot going on these days with government and corporate data gathering. if you want to know about that and how it works the this is the book for you. Read morePublished on August 22, 2011 by Book buyer