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Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance [Hardcover]

Julia Angwin
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 16.90 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 289 pages
  • Publisher: Times Books (25 Feb 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805098070
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805098075
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Dragnet Nation An inside look at who's watching you, what they know and why it matters. We are being watched.We see online ads from websites we've visited, long after we've moved on to other interests. Our smartphones and cars transmit our location, enabling us to know what's in the neighborhood but also enabling others to track us. And the federal government, we recently learned, has been conducting a massive data-gathering surveillance operation across the Internet and on our phone lines.In "Dragnet Nation," award-winning investigative journalist Julia Angwin reports from the front lines of America's surveillance economy, offering a revelatory and unsettling look at how ...

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
‘Dragnet Nation’ written by awarded journalist Julia Angwin is somewhat frightening story about the state of privacy and the possibility of preserving our lives only for ourselves which does no longer exist.

The topic of online privacy is one of the subjects on which lately a lot is talked about, but nevertheless in any place that knowledge is not as well synthesized as is the case in ‘Dragnet Nation’. The book in a fairly realistic and grounded way, ‘Dragnet Nation’ talks about the loss of privacy in today's online world, gives a good overview for those who are not so skilled in handling the on-line services, while they heard something about the loss of privacy on-line.

Julia Angwin goes a step further and offers some very specific advice on how to increase online safety; her book is easy to read and although its story is about complex matters, the language she uses is comprehensible. The author begins his book begins with few simple sentences: "…An inside look at who’s watching you, what they know and why it matters. We are being watched…” something you’ll understand when her book will be fully understand, although the truth will probably shock you.

Julia Angwin avoided using complex technological knowledge and given that she speaks on the subject exceptionally interesting, with this book you will have no problem to read to the end in a one reading.

‘Dragnet Nation’ is a work written for those who are not tech geeks, but will certainly intrigue readers to read it quickly; inside there are no legal or technical terms, and these are, among others, the reason why we can recommend this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  39 reviews
51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HONESTY CAN BE AN UNPLEASANT WAY OF LEARNING THE TRUTH 25 Feb 2014
By Robert Steven Thomas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In an age of drones, spy satellites, internet espionage, GPS and cell phone tapping conducted by most of the worlds leading nations (and also many international criminal organizations) ... how can we decent individuals protect our privacy? You may be shocked at how little is actually left available to us as a result of this book's well-researched and outstandingly informative presentation. On one side there is a legitimate need for our governments to protect us from terrorism, identity-theft and international scamming. At the other end is the reasonable desire for most individuals to demand a right to privacy and individual freedoms. At what point, exactly, should collective societal safety trump individual rights? As you will discover in this excellent book, there is a very fine line of difference that separates the two. So how do we protect ourselves? The author has provided a thoughtful and potentially well-constructed answer to this difficult challenge. It is one that can work and involves participation from us all. The more people who are aware of this strategy - the better we will all sleep at night.
61 of 67 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read with good tips for protecting your privacy. 25 Feb 2014
By Chris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is an important book and I'm glad I had the opportunity to read it. For those of concerned about privacy, it's a useful read.
The book is structured like a memoir. The author was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal. Refreshingly, she's a married mom with two kids. I say this because, normally the people writing about government surveillance and privacy issues are single, white men. She begins the book with a brief review of privacy and government violation of it from the beginning of the republic to now. The rest of the book is taken up with her mission to retake as much of her privacy as possible and leave the smallest possible digital footprint.
She finds that it is no easy task retaking your personal information from the data brokers. We are constantly tracked while online. "Anonymous" profiles of people are assembled by these data brokers based on what websites people visit. Based on the information they collect, they'll present you with ads based on your presumed interests. More detailed profiles of people are assembled and used to determine what prices you see for say insurance or plane tickets.
This book was a real eye-opener for me. I took for granted that my moves online were tracked, but I had no idea to the degree which it is done. Most troubling is this data industry is completely unregulated. Once they have your data, you cannot compel them to reveal what they know or to delete their data on you. The only exception to this is your credit score.
I dog-eared and underlined quite a few sections in this book because she has practical tips for minimizing your exposure. I hope that if this book goes to a paperback edition, she'll assemble some of the more useful tips into a single section at the end of the book.
I think the author's conclusion to her book is a bit Pollyannaish. She argues that pollution used to be much worse in the US (an example she sites are rivers bursting into flames, and that for the most part rivers are much cleaner). Pollution is a non-specific problem like the privacy problem, but people got together and encouraged Congress to pass laws that prevent the dumping of chemicals in our rivers. I disagree. I think people have gotten too inured to having little privacy. I see things getting much worse and staying that way. People voluntarily join facebook and are happy to share nearly everything about their lives (I'm looking at you people that post pictures of your food).
My one complaint about this book is her brief reference to bookstores. "Similarly, I used to go to my local bookstore and buy books in cash. Now, all the bookstores are dying, and Amazon is my local bookstore." If you order on Amazon because of the convenience or the prices, fine, it's understandable. But don't pretend like you would still go to your local bookstore if it hadn't closed. You stopped going because of the uber convenience of Amazon. Furthermore, this author lives in New York City, and there are no independent bookstores left in New York City, really?
But aside from my tirade on this minor thing, the book is excellent and I would recommend it to those concerned about their privacy.
I received an advanced reader's copy of this book from the publisher. So take that for what you will.
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be required reading for all Americans 3 Mar 2014
By Bill Blankenship - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Privacy is a hot topic in the news of late. This book goes right to the heart of this issue. The writing is excellent. Julia Angwin speaks from and describes her own experiences with all aspects of the subject. She places her story in the context of her life and her own family. I appreciate this personal touch and the relationship to real life. Too often non-fiction books of this sort present a logical and scholarly analysis of the problem that is difficult to relate to one's own life. This book does not do that; it is relevant.

I am a technically savvy person only to an average degree. But I could tell from her discussion that the author is not seriously techie about any of the subjects she discussed. Advanced dissertations on the topics in the book was not what I was looking for when I bought the book, and if that is what you want, this is not the book for you. However, if you want to understand how privacy in your life has been impacted by government and industry, then this book is a must read.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat frightening story about the state of privacy 28 Feb 2014
By Denis Vukosav - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
‘Dragnet Nation’ written by awarded journalist Julia Angwin is somewhat frightening story about the state of privacy and the possibility of preserving our lives only for ourselves which does no longer exist.

The topic of online privacy is one of the subjects on which lately a lot is talked about, but nevertheless in any place that knowledge is not as well synthesized as is the case in ‘Dragnet Nation’. The book in a fairly realistic and grounded way, ‘Dragnet Nation’ talks about the loss of privacy in today's online world, gives a good overview for those who are not so skilled in handling the on-line services, while they heard something about the loss of privacy on-line.

Julia Angwin goes a step further and offers some very specific advice on how to increase online safety; her book is easy to read and although its story is about complex matters, the language she uses is comprehensible. The author begins his book begins with few simple sentences: "…An inside look at who’s watching you, what they know and why it matters. We are being watched…” something you’ll understand when her book will be fully understand, although the truth will probably shock you.

Julia Angwin avoided using complex technological knowledge and given that she speaks on the subject exceptionally interesting, with this book you will have no problem to read to the end in a one reading.

‘Dragnet Nation’ is a work written for those who are not tech geeks, but will certainly intrigue readers to read it quickly; inside there are no legal or technical terms, and these are, among others, the reason why we can recommend this book.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Privacy Concerns Matter 13 Mar 2014
By James Banzer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Journalist Julia Angwin writes meaningfully about invasions into our privacy. It happens more than you realize. There are ways though to avoid much of the intrusion into our personal lives. You'll probably never totally escape it, but much of the spying can be thwarted. Angwin shows how. She feels it is nobody's business where she goes, or the conversations she has, as long as she is obeying the law.

If you want to make a meaningful dent in the amount of personal information you are giving up, habits must be altered. Chances are you use Google for online searches. The author tells why you would be well-advised to switch over to DuckDuckGo. If you carry your cell phone with you, you might want to wrap it in aluminum foil. You might wish to purchase a wallet made to block radio frequency identification of credit cards. Maybe you would like to sign up for an email service called Riseup, where there's no scanning of messages.

There is widespread belief that we have nothing to worry about in terms of surveillance as long as we do nothing wrong. The fact is that few people are aware of just how much we are being watched. In today's world it is nearly impossible to hide from the spies. But why should government, or any other entity, watch everything you do if you have not done anything to warrant such intrusion into privacy? The question is very valid.

The author suggests that an Information Protection Agency is probably needed to protect us from the intrusions she discusses. She believes data handlers need to be made accountable for any harm done by use of our data. That sounds like a reasonable proposition. Angwin's book “Dragnet Nation” is an examination of the different ways we are being watched. After reading this book, I never again will quickly dismiss surveillance by the government or anyone else as being in my best interests.
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