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America the Vulnerable: Inside the New Threat Matrix of Digital Espionage, Crime, and Warfare

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2014

    Joel Brenner's ''Glass Houses'' is an in-depth look into the wor

    Joel Brenner's ''Glass Houses'' is an in-depth look into the world of domestic security. There is no one better to tell the stories of U.S intelligence issues and secrecy. Brenner is the former senior counsel at the National Security Agency where he was in charge of keeping U.S. intelligence safe from foreign spies. The first chapter tells of a time when Chinese intelligence spies were able to hack into the United States intelligence computers and stole so much information that it was unknown. The problem here was that nobody had encrypted the information so it could not be tracked; the information was lost.  From this story on, Brenner's accounts of his days back in the NSA are interesting to read about as citizens rarely get to see what goes on behind the scenes of the NSA. This book is incredibly helpful to read in today’s world as so much news is going on with Snowden and all the NSA phone tapping. The book focuses on how secrecy and privacy are very hard to find when technology is advancing so quickly. It is important to keep citizens safe as the NSA continues to argue; however, Brenner does make a point that it is the job of citizens to keep themselves safe, not the government’s job. 

    I really enjoyed the detail Brenner was able to go into with some of the stories he told as usually anything that has to do with intelligence is “top secret” and only a privileged few can know details. Brenner tries to keep the writing lively, but the book covers a very serious topic and can sometimes be dry. I only had a few times when the reading was slow. Other than that it was gripping and I wanted to know more. This book is for anybody who likes history and learning about United States secrets as this book gives you both.  

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