Synopses & Reviews
Cyberspace is all around us. We depend on it for everything we do. We have reengineered our business, governance, and social relations around a planetary network unlike any before it. But there are dangers looming, and malign forces are threatening to transform this extraordinary domain.
In Black Code, Ronald J. Deibert, a leading expert on digital technology, security, and human rights, lifts the lid on cyberspace and shows what’s at stake for Internet users and citizens. As cyberspace develops in unprecedented ways, powerful agents are scrambling for control. Predatory cyber criminal gangs such as Koobface have made social media their stalking ground. The discovery of Stuxnet, a computer worm reportedly developed by Israel and the United States and aimed at Iran’s nuclear facilities, showed that state cyberwar is now a very real possibility. Governments and corporations are in collusion and are setting the rules of the road behind closed doors.
This is not the way it was supposed to be. The Internet’s original promise of a global commons of shared knowledge and communications is now under threat.
Drawing on the first-hand experiences of one of the most important protagonists in the battle — the Citizen Lab and its global network of frontline researchers, who have spent more than a decade cracking cyber espionage rings and uncovering attacks on citizens and NGOs worldwide — Black Code takes readers on a fascinating journey into the battle for cyberspace. Thought-provoking, compelling, and sometimes frightening, it is a wakeup call to citizens who have come to take the Internet for granted. Cyberspace is ours, it is what we make of it, Deibert argues, and we need to act now before it slips through our grasp.
Written by a professor of Political Science--and a member of CitizenLab, the group that had uncovered an international cyber-espionage network in 2009--this combination of an expose and level-headedanalysis is required reading for anyone interested in computers, the Internet, and the trends in human development today. As cyberspacebecomes more and more "real" and a more important part of our lives with each day, the powers-that-be (and that want-to-be) are engagingin a struggle for its control, and the control of all the benefits that flow from it. The crucial themes here are privacy, democracy,and security--and the uneasy tension that exists between the three. Deibert takes us on a fascinating and frequently frightening ridethrough the many methods of control that lurk beneath the surface of Big Data, global interconnectedness and the emerging world of digitalnatives. From autocrats to criminal gangs (and often the difference between the two is negligible), this is an important and brave word of warning to everyone.Annotation ©2014 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)
About the Author
RONALD J. DEIBERT is professor of Political Science and Director of the Canada Centre for Global Security Studies and the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, an interdisciplinary research and development “hothouse” working at the intersection of the Internet, global security, and human rights. He is a co-founder and a principal investigator of the OpenNet Initiative and the Information Warfare Monitor, which uncovered the GhostNet cyberespionage network of over 2,500 infected computers in 103 countries. Deibert’s work has received frontpage coverage in the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, International Herald Tribune, and New York Times. He lives in Toronto with his family.