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Facebook Nation: Total Information Awareness

Facebook Nation: Total Information Awareness

5.0 3
by Newton Lee

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President Barack Obama, in his 2011 State of the Union Address, called America "the nation of Edison and the Wright brothers" and "of Google and Facebook." U.S. Chief Information Officer, Steven VanRoekel, said that America has become a "Facebook nation" that demands increased transparency and interactivity from the federal government. Facebook as a nation in 2012


President Barack Obama, in his 2011 State of the Union Address, called America "the nation of Edison and the Wright brothers" and "of Google and Facebook." U.S. Chief Information Officer, Steven VanRoekel, said that America has become a "Facebook nation" that demands increased transparency and interactivity from the federal government. Facebook as a nation in 2012 would be the third largest country in the world with over 900 million citizens, after China and India. This book portrays the social media ecosystem as a world of increasing Total Information Awareness, which is essentially a civilian version of the controversial Total Information Awareness program unveiled in 2002 by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) at the U.S. Department of Defense. Back in the 60's, DARPA initiated and funded the research and development of Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) that went online in 1969. The success of ARPANET gave rise to the global commercial Internet in the 90's and the new generation of Fortune 500 companies today including Amazon.com, Google, eBay, and Yahoo!. As if life comes full circle in the 21st century, private businesses and the ubiquity of social networks such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and YouTube are creating the technologies and infrastructures necessary for the DARPA-proposed Total Information Awareness program.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange called Facebook "the most appalling spying machine that has ever been invented." Indeed, military and civilian technologies have interwoven into every fabric of our society, as Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, "We exist at the intersection of technology and social issues." This book offers discourse and practical advice on the privacy issue in the age of big data, the rise of Facebook nation, and Total Information Awareness. Opening with President Ronald Reagan's 1984 National Security Decision Directive and ending with George Orwell's novel 1984, the author takes us on a roller-coaster ride through Facebook's botched IPO, Carrier IQ, Kony 2012, SOPA/PIPA blackout, cyber bullying, crime fighting, and a host of other timely issues facing our Facebook nation. Social media strategists, information architects, social scientists, policymakers, and academic scholars in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society (STS) will find this book a valuable asset.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

From the reviews:

“Newton Lee’s book,Facebook Nation: Total Information Awareness, is a great book for social media experts, offering a comprehensive look at Facebook in the context of social media, and covering privacy well.Facebook Nationis full of facts, stories, and quotes that will give you plenty to talk about with clients and co-workers. You can open any page of this book and read something that is interesting and worth knowing about social media. ... The chapters on facial-recognition technology, ambient social apps collecting data on you constantly, and other insights about your digital footprint will give you plenty to think about. ... Facebook Nationis the most thoroughly researched book I have seen about Facebook. ... Facebook Nation is a must have for the social media expert’s bookshelf. The wealth of facts contained in the book make it worth buying, and anyone active in the social space should be aware of the privacy considerations related to what they are building.” (Will M., AllFacebook.com, January, 2013)

“The author illustrates the pervasiveness of Facebook with stories of people addicted to using it. … The author gives a number of examples of misinformation on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. … The book is peppered with interesting tidbits that make it easy to read. … any reader, technical or nontechnical, will benefit from it.” (G. K. Gupta, ACM Computing Reviews, March, 2013)

“For anyone who has used a Facebook account to log on to any site, this work serves as an information disclosure on what individuals actually share when they post and what they voluntarily release to anyone with an account. … Lee’s book highlights how the information that people share can be used to help or harm them; it also will educate readers about this new irrevocable paradigm or technology integration. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals/practitioners; general readers.” (T. D. Richardson, Choice, Vol. 50 (9), May, 2013)

Library Journal
★ 08/01/2015
Analyzes total information collection in a Web 2.0 social media environ, the myriad tools designed to parse that information, and the politics/policies that mediate this information collection.

Product Details

Springer New York
Publication date:
Edition description:
2nd ed. 2014
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

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Facebook Nation: Total Information Awareness 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
LeslieWilson More than 1 year ago
A Provacative Conversation-Starter That Will Keep You Up At Night! Newton Lee's breezily-written, compact book details a fascinating compilation of current news, information policies, and technology usage patterns that reverberate through online social networks and society at large in our globally-wired "Facebook Nation". Peppered with heartfelt personal anecdotes, interesting software arcana, and a rich collection of links to web sources that encourage deeper reading and research, Facebook Nation is a valuable resource for scientists, business leaders, and educators who are looking for a comprehensive discussion of how total information awareness intersects with today's events in ways, both potentially good and ill, that shape our increasingly connected society.
cityscholar More than 1 year ago
In an extensively referenced compendium Facebook Nation explores the online terrain we occupy and provides an exhaustive, fast-paced look at our social media environment, whisking us from facial recognition apps to citizen journalism to battles over internet legislation. The book touches on socially oriented activities that are personal (Facebook) as well as public (surveillance cameras), with a predominant theme of privacy, and presents examples of both beneficial and harmful consequences of our interacting within a digital environment. While most of us are aware that our activities online are commonly tracked and that companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon mine the data they collect about us for profit, Newton Lee shows the extensive and relentless way they do so and reveals the massive fissures in privacy this has led to. Facebook Nation presents a provocative view of the data residue we leave through use of search engines, free email service, and social sites, and by accepting the privacy and account settings provided. In a past generation such an invasion of privacy would have been unthinkable. Lee makes a strong case that today's technological infrastructures, the attitudes of CEOs intent on changing the landscape on their own terms without our consultation, and our own lack of understanding of how our information is used, has us struggling to keep a balance between a social media environment that is beneficial and one that is held hostage by big business and big brother. What I particularly like about the book is the contemporary details it provides; the facts stand on their own merit and they are at the same time inspirational and very chilling.
Filmlover2008 More than 1 year ago
This book is an eye opener for anyone interested in the intersection of social media, technology, business, social sciences, politics and international studies. The author does not impose his views on the readers about Facebook, Google, SOPA/PIPA, Total Information Awareness, and other controversial topics. Instead, he presents opposing views and lets the readers think for themselves. Rolling Stone magazine called the 2010 movie The Social Network "bracingly smart, brutally funny and acted to perfection." Written in a documentary style, this book evoked a similar feeling in me. In spite of the serious subject matter, the book is filled with tasteful humor throughout. It's both thought-provocative and enjoyable to read.