Dirk Jumpertz's Reviews > No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State

No Place to Hide by Glenn Greenwald
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really liked it
bookshelves: english, non-fiction, infosec

Greenwald's book on how he got in touch with Snowden and revealed the biggest and most shocking InfoSec leak ever, reads almost as Ludlum's Bourne saga. One has to admire Snowden's patience when he reaches out to Greenwald, who is borderline incompetent to get the required security software to unlock a trove of unique documents. When he at last gets in touch with Snowden in Hong Kong, he finally understands how deep the rabbit hole goes.

Part two digs further into the treasure chest and skims the surface of what at moments reads like pure scifi. The capabilities of the NSA and the obsession of its head Keith B. Alexander better known by his moto Know it All are mind boggling. But what I found most shocking is the double entendre of the Obama administration which clearly supports the NSA policy and its actions.

Greenwald describes and discusses also the role of the media and how US media have lost all credibility by accepting extensive influence by the powers that be. In the land of the First Amendment, media has to relay with the government on specific topics. This effectively hollows out the critical eye of the Fourth Estate. But the most shocking evolution is the gradual transformation of journalists in super stars who share their lives with those they should criticise. How can they bite the hand that feeds them?

In the end, does all that data gathering actually stop terrorism? The answer is no, capturing the signal in all this noise is not only difficult, but the book also clearly shows that NSA and its customers (sic) abuse this power for other means.

Should we be concerned? Absolutely, with great power comes great responsibility as Spiderman thought us. But great responsibility cannot exist without accountability. Though you might strongly believe you're not doing anything wrong, in the end wrongness is in the eye of the beholder. But more importantly, privacy is essential at being a human being. Do you share your dreams and fears with everyone? Aren't there things you keep for yourself? Not because they are wrong, but maybe because they are so personal that only those closest to you might know about it. Giving up on the right to privacy and giving in to Big Brother, regardless if this entity is a corporate behemoth (Facebook) or part of the government (NSA) destroys our humanity and turns us into a frightened shadow of ourselves.
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Reading Progress

May 19, 2015 – Started Reading
June 16, 2015 – Shelved
June 16, 2015 –
page 51
June 16, 2015 –
page 55
June 16, 2015 – Shelved as: english
June 16, 2015 – Shelved as: non-fiction
June 16, 2015 – Shelved as: infosec
September 23, 2015 – Finished Reading

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