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Surveillance Valley: The Secret Military History of the Internet Hardcover – February 6, 2018

4.5 out of 5 stars 52 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A real public service."―San Francisco Review of Books

"This polemical history argues that the U.S. military's role in the development of the Internet indelibly shaped the system into a powerful tool of government surveillance. ... amid increasing dismay about technology's influence on contemporary life, such forceful questioning is salutary."―New Yorker

"Provocative history of the internet-equipped security state, implicating key players in the digital economy in the game of espionage.... Levine, a tech-savvy investigative journalist, documents an army of them in his wide-ranging look at the way governments and companies alike spy on ordinary citizens."―Kirkus

"This engrossing investigation will find a large audience among those interested in the uses and abuses of technology."―Library Journal

"Yasha Levine's bold and sweeping history of the Internet-from its shadowy inception as a military contrivance for counterinsurgency and domestic surveillance, to its current incarnation as a commercialized tool for everyday communication that turns everyone's life into an open book-tells a gripping story of our algorithmic way of life in the making. Defying common Internet tropes that present a battle between valiant and independent rebels versus omnipresent state and corporate powers, no one comes out of this book looking clean. Whatever your thoughts about our digitized world, this book will challenge them."―Stuart Ewen, Distinguished Professor of History, Sociology and Media Studies at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center

"The Internet will never be the same after you read Surveillance Valley. Yasha Levine has done a masterful job of research and reporting about the military origins of the 'world wide web' and how its essential nature has not changed in the years since its creation during the Cold War. I especially applaud his courage in unraveling the connections between the so-called 'deep state' and its economic allies in Silicon Valley with the big guns of the 'privacy' movement, who have scoffed at virtually every attempt at making their operations transparent to the public."―Tim Shorrock, author of Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing

"In this fast-paced, myth busting expose, Yasha Levine documents how a collection of spooks, cybernetic fanatics, and libertarian oligarchs have exploited the internet to promote regime change abroad and establish a totalistic spying network at home. Surveillance Valley is an unprecedented journalistic achievement, revealing the untold history of the anti-democratic regime that rules our lives from behind a glossy LED screen."―Max Blumenthal, author of Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, senior editor of AlterNet's Grayzone Project

"An important history lesson."―TANK

"Surveillance Valley is a troubling book, but it is an important book. It smashes comforting myths."―Boundary 2

"Google employees rightfully balked recently when they found out their employer had a number of defense contracts; one wonders if they knew that the tech industry was quite literally founded on the back of the defense industry, such that there was a time when they were synonymous. Yasha Levine's wonderful historical tract shatters any illusion that the two industries were ever really that at odds with each other."―Salon

About the Author

Yasha Levine is an investigative journalist for Pando Daily, a San Francisco-based news magazine focused on covering the politics and power of big tech. He has been published in Wired Magazine, The Nation, Slate, Penthouse, The New York Observer, Playboy, Not Safe For Work Corp, Alternet, and many others. He has also appeared on network television, including MSNBC, and has had his work profiled by the New York Observer, Vanity Fair, and The Verge, among others.

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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
52 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on February 7, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on July 11, 2018
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Top international reviews

David
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 17, 2019
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OliverW8
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-researched, readable, scary
Reviewed in Germany on August 21, 2018
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FFW
5.0 out of 5 stars A Internet já nasceu para espionar...
Reviewed in Brazil on March 11, 2019
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