Hacking the Future: Privacy, Identity, and Anonymity on the Web

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Overview

How does anonymity enable free speech - and how is it a threat? "I think anonymity on the Internet has to go away," famously said by Randi Zuckerberg (sister of Mark), has become the policy for some, while the Stop Online Piracy Act mobilized millions to write Congress in protest. Identity Wars is a broad look at how anonymity influences politics, activism, religion, and art.

Stryker presents a strong defense of anonymity and explores some of the tools and organizations relating...

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Hacking the Future

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Overview

How does anonymity enable free speech - and how is it a threat? "I think anonymity on the Internet has to go away," famously said by Randi Zuckerberg (sister of Mark), has become the policy for some, while the Stop Online Piracy Act mobilized millions to write Congress in protest. Identity Wars is a broad look at how anonymity influences politics, activism, religion, and art.

Stryker presents a strong defense of anonymity and explores some of the tools and organizations relating to this issue, especially as it has evolved with the ubiquity of the Internet. Cogent and compelling, his examination of online identities, both false and real, is an essential read for the social-networking age.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Trying to achieve balance on the issue of web anonymity, Stryker, a media consultant in New York City and author of Epic Win for Anonymous, writes in his new book of a 2011 cautionary statement by former marketing director of Facebook, Randi Zuckerberg: "I think people hide behind anonymity and they feel like they can say whatever they want behind closed doors. " Stryker explains how significant web anonymity is to those key companies who mine user data personal information of, for example, the millions of members on social networks. When cyberpunks and hackers join the digital fray, no secret is safe, whether it's the Church of Scientology or Mexican drug cartels. Stryker argues that legislation in Congress, such as the Do Not Track provision, could stymie opponents of unregulated online identity. In the end, Stryker mounts an impassioned, rational defense of web anonymity and digital free expression in his smart, detailed primer. (Oct.)
The Rumpus
Sharp, witty, and well-researched.
Midwest Book Review
A recommended pick for computer and social issues holdings alike.
The Daily Dot
[Cole Stryker] makes a compelling case for anonymity (and pseudonymity) using dozens of real-life case studies.
LaughingSquid.com
Stryker presents a strong defense of anonymity and explores some of the tools and organizations relating to this issue, especially as it has evolved with the ubiquity of the Internet. Cogent and compelling, his examination of online identities, both false and real, is an essential read for the social-networking age.
TheVerge.com
Hacking the Future does an admirable job of laying out the current state of affairs on the internet, and it lays a good groundwork for understanding the darker side of the internet, giving its reader a fair assessment of what we should fear, and what we should not… Even if you don’t fully accept the argument that privacy and anonymity is the primary issue for the future of the internet, Hacking the Future presents a cohesive argument as to why we should protect these things regardless.
New York Journal of Books
Perhaps the best part of Hacking the Future is an analysis of what anonymity means in terms of its cost, a balancing of the value of what’s hidden against the effort to hide and the effort to unmask.
Salon

Praise for Epic Win for Anonymous:

"A primer on why the Internet works the way it does today.

Midwest Review
A recommended pick for computer and social issues holdings alike.
Salon

Praise for Epic Win for Anonymous:

"A primer on why the Internet works the way it does today."

Midwest Review

'A recommended pick for computer and social issues holdings alike."

Kirkus Reviews
A multilayered and well-reasoned retort against all those who would seek to erase anonymity from the Web. Since hired assassins and child pornographers on the Internet hide behind anonymity to prey on their victims and escape prosecution, anonymity should be scrapped and replaced with full "transparency"--that's the way the argument goes. Unfortunately, as media consultant Stryker (Epic Win for Anonymous: How 4chan's Army Conquered the Web, 2012) so effectively argues in this stirring call to action, a lot of other types of people also rely on anonymity for their continued existence. Coldblooded killers and creepy pedophiles may exploit the Internet's openness, but so do patriots, reformers, human rights advocates and soccer moms. The author explores the rich history of anonymity in politics, literature and culture, while also debunking the notion that only troublemakers fear revealing their identities to the world. In relatively few pages, the author is able to get at the heart of identity itself, and why the name on your driver's license isn't sufficiently revelatory. The Web has become a battleground, and depending on who wins, the Internet could soon bear little resemblance to what we know now. Stryker also introduces the uninitiated into the "Deep Web," alternative currencies and even the nascent stages of a kind of parallel Web that exists beyond the power of governments to switch it off. Beyond even that is the fundamental question of whether or not absolute anonymity is even possible given the nature of the technology. One of the most well-informed examinations of the Internet available today.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590209745
  • Publisher: Overlook Hardcover
  • Publication date: 9/13/2012
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,438,534
  • Product dimensions: 5.86 (w) x 8.06 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Cole Stryker is a freelance writer and media consultant based in New York City. He is the author of Epic Win for Anonymous, the first book to tell the story of the genesis of the Internet-based protest groups and creative memes currently changing our world. Stryker has been interviewed about his writing by The New York Times, Reuters, New York Observer, Salon, and The Rumpus.

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