Black Code

Black Code

The Battle for the Future of Cyberspace

Book - 2013
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Random House, Inc.

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.



Baker & Taylor
"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'soriginal 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."--Publisher's website.

Book News
Deibert (political science, U. of Toronto) covers a wide scope in this journalistic account of what he calls "Black code", using both terms in a very broad sense. Black refers both to the increasing secrecy surrounding the infrastructure of cyberspace and to the vast use of the internet by international criminal organizations. To that end he covers topics like the Stuxnet worm and the Koobface assault on Facebook as well as the strategies employed by criminals and spammers to create networks of compromised computers which can be rented out as "botnets". Deibert feels that a distributed approach to internet security is preferable to one dominated by a few large and secretive organizations and is more consistent with the principles of liberal democracy. To Deibert, code is also not just computer code but the whole physical infrastructure of the internet such as cables, routers and even the electromagnetic spectrum in use by various technologies. He also connects this concept with those of earlier theoreticians of communication such as Marshall McLuhan's "the medium is the message". In other words, the internet cannot be a neutral medium anymore than television or radio or newspapers. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Publisher: Toronto : Signal, c2013
ISBN: 9780771025334
Characteristics: 312 p. ; 23 cm

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