A Tale of my life in Iceland, from the point of view of a Canadian.
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Friday, January 16, 2009
Review of Cory Doctorow book Little Brother.
I don't usually review books but Cory Doctorow's Little Brother I really liked, and as most of you know I don't buy many physical books anymore.
Little brother is about a terrorist incidence in San Fransisco, and the department of homeland security moves in afterwords and turns the city into a virtual police state.
The main character is 17 years old and fights back by using the internet and starting a popular movement to regain there freedoms.
The reason i like the book is that that it has a good story for what it is and the book touches on a lot of the myths dealing with security and the restrictive laws that have been passed in many country's in the name of protecting us from terrorists.
There has been no terrorists caught yet using any of these measures but hundreds of thousands of people have been inconvenienced and harassed all for the illusion of security.
One of the first points that the author makes is that the job of terrorists is not to kill people, it is to instill terror. And if they can do one horrendous thing and then sit back for years while we do the work for them. So none of these terrorist prevention measures are ever going to work. This is because the terrorists have done what they needed and have left.
They don't need to do anything more, we are doing it for them!
The author points out that a security system is only as good as the people that try to break it. Any one can build a security system that they can't break, that doesn't mean that someone smarter, luckier, or clever can't figure out how to break it. So in the end the only security that works is one that is open for everyone to examine and critique.
The the current restrictions are wrapped in so many layers of secrecy that it is impossible to know how badly flawed there measures are.
Anyway it is a good book.
If you want something that everyone takes for granted that is secure then take a look at this video. Lock Bumping
This is a very simple technique that can bypass 80% of the key locks out there. It take a few minuets with a file and a key that fits into the lock in question.
It was people that view security as something that is only as good as the people that have tried to break it. In this case people assumed that a key lock is secure, mostly because we have seen hundreds of Ads in our lives that have told us so. Then someone looks at the problem from a different angle and Bing it isn't as secure as it was.
Anyway pickup a copy and enjoy the book, in a way it will be a eye opener about a lot of laws that are being passed under the heading of making us safer.
At what point is the counter measure worse than the problem.