Surveillance or Security?: The Risks Posed by New Wiretapping Technologies

Surveillance or Security?: The Risks Posed by New Wiretapping Technologies


By (author) Susan Landau

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  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Format: Paperback | 400 pages
  • Dimensions: 146mm x 220mm x 24mm | 522g
  • Publication date: 5 March 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge, Mass.
  • ISBN 10: 0262518740
  • ISBN 13: 9780262518741
  • Illustrations note: 9 figures
  • Sales rank: 639,725

Product description

Digital communications are the lifeblood of modern society. We "meet up" online, tweet our reactions millions of times a day, connect through social networking rather than in person. Large portions of business and commerce have moved to the Web, and much of our critical infrastructure, including the electric power grid, is controlled online. This reliance on information systems leaves us highly exposed and vulnerable to cyberattack. Despite this, U.S. law enforcement and national security policy remain firmly focused on wiretapping and surveillance. But, as cybersecurity expert Susan Landau argues in Surveillance or Security?, the old surveillance paradigms do not easily fit the new technologies. By embedding eavesdropping mechanisms into communication technology itself, we are building tools that could be turned against us and opting for short-term security and creating dangerous long-term risks. How can we get communications security right? Landau offers a set of principles to govern wiretapping policy that will allow us to protect our national security as well as our freedom.

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Author information

Susan Landau is a privacy analyst at Google. She was previously a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems, and has been a faculty member at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and at Wesleyan University. Landau has been a Guggenheim fellow, a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and is a fellow of the American Association for the advancement of Science and the Association for Computing Machinery.

Review quote

"Landau's well-researched writing is a superb resource for the citizen who wants to be an informed participant in the civil rights debate that is succinctly summarized in the title." Hilarie Orman IEEE Cipher "An extremely important book. Landau has the remarkable talent of taking very broad issues and detailing them in a concise, yet comprehensive manner... This book is the definitive text on the topic and it is a title that needs to be read."-Ben Rothke, Slashdot