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A cybersecurity expert and former Google privacy analyst’s urgent call to protect devices and networks against malicious hackers
New technologies have provided both incredible convenience and new threats. The same kinds of digital networks that allow you to hail a ride using your smartphone let power grid operators control a country’s electricity—and these personal, corporate, and government systems are all vulnerable. In Ukraine, unknown hackers shut off electricity to nearly 230,000 people for six hours. North Korean hackers destroyed networks at Sony Pictures in retaliation for a film that mocked Kim Jong-un. And Russian cyberattackers leaked Democratic National Committee emails in an attempt to sway a U.S. presidential election.
And yet despite such documented risks, government agencies, whose investigations and surveillance are stymied by encryption, push for a weakening of protections. In this accessible and riveting read, Susan Landau makes a compelling case for the need to secure our data, explaining how we must maintain cybersecurity in an insecure age.
“A sophisticated yet accessible primer on how communications technologies, devices, and services work; the threats to them; and the tools, including encryption, that . . . can protect our privacy and secure our data.”—Glenn C. Altschuler, HuffPost
“[Landau’s] clean, knowledgeable writing reflects the depth of her expertise as she traces the tug of war that has played out between law enforcement and cryptographers in recent decades.”
—Kadhim Shubber, Financial Times
“A detailed overview of the history of cybersecurity.”—Hope Reese, UnDark
“An excellent primer on the importance of encryption for users of technology.”—Choice
"Susan Landau manages to harness the sprint of our online era and provides a lasting framework for how to manage, protect, and even master our digital footprint."—Juliette Kayyem, former Assistant Secretary, United States Department of Homeland Security
"Encryption is essential to our online security, but it also makes the job of law enforcement harder. In Listening In, Landau gives us an authoritative and unflinching look at this challenge and confronts the urgent question of security in the digital age."—Matt Olsen, Former Director, National Counterterrorism Center
"Susan Landau has performed a remarkable feat of public service with Listening In: she simplifies the complex contemporary debate around privacy and security trade-offs in a way that welcomes anyone with an interest in these topics to engage with them -- and she demonstrates why everyone should."—Jonathan Zittrain, author of The Future of the Internet – and How to Stop It
“An extremely important book. Landau has the remarkable talent of taking very broad issues and detailing them in a concise, yet comprehensive manner.”—Ben Rothke, author of Computer Security, on Landau's previous book Surveillance or Security?
"Susan Landau is eminently qualified to guide readers to deeper understanding of risks and threats that accompany an increasingly connected world. Our online appetites are growing and our presence attracts hacking and surveillance among other uses we may not have authorized or even anticipated. Must read."—Vint Cerf, internet pioneer