Glass Houses

Glass Houses: Privacy, Secrecy, and Cyber Insecurity in a Transparent WorldI just started reading Glass Houses:  Privacy, Security, and Cyber Insecurity In a Transparent World.

For a number of years I was very reluctant to plunge fully into the modern world of the internet and the myriad types of devices available today, primarily because of security concerns; I knew how vulnerable the internet is.  Then I forgot my reluctance as I plunged fully into the digital, interconnected world.  I’m writing this on a Chromebook that I bought new for only $200.  It is only useful for working on the internet.  I love it.  It’s a great little machine.  So light and portable but with a full keyboard and USB ports.  It does everything I want.  The only thing I can’t do on the Chromebook is process my photos.  For that I have my big laptop so I don’t need to do it on the Chromebook.

Back to Glass Houses.  I was right to be  concerned about the vulnerability of the internet.  This is from the Introduction:

. . . counterintelligence must contend with the penetrations of the public and private electronic networks that are the backbone of our communications, the storehouses of our technology, and the nervous system of our economy and government.  These networks, I regret to say, are porous and insecure, vulnerable not only to casual hackers but even more so to professional electronic thieves and powerful foreign intelligence services.  But we want seamless, effortless inter-connectivity and the productivity that comes with it – who doesn’t?  And so our  vulnerabilities multiply as we continue to privilege convenience over security.”

“Secrecy is to companies and governments as privacy is to individuals.  Both rise or fall on the same technologies and cultural proclivities, and at the moment both are falling precipitously.

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