Bernard Harcourt’s Exposed: Desire and Disobedience in the Digital Age (Harvard University Press 2015) is an indictment of our contemporary age of surveillance and exposure — what Harcourt calls “the expository society.” Harcourt passionately deconstructs modern technology-infused society and explains its dark implications with an almost poetic eloquence.
Harcourt begins by critiquing the metaphor of George Orwell’s 1984to describe the ills of our world today. In my own previous work, I critiqued this metaphor, arguing that Kafka’s The Trial was a more apt metaphor to capture the powerlessness and vulnerability that people experience as government and businesses construct and use “digital dossiers” about their lives. Harcourt critiques Orwell in a different manner, arguing that Orwell’s dystopian vision is inapt because it is too drab and gray:
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has become the leading federal agency to regulate privacy and data security. The scope of its power is vast – it covers the majority of commercial activity – and it has been enforcing these issues for decades. An FTC civil investigative demand (CID) will send shivers down the spine of even the largest of companies, as the FTC requires a 20-year period of assessments to settle the score.Continue Reading
For several years, I have been posting about notable books on privacy and security, and this post lists some of the notable books from 2015. To see a more comprehensive list of nonfiction works about privacy and security, you might consult this resource page that Professor Paul Schwartz and I maintain: Nonfiction Privacy + Security Books.
Now, without further ado, here are some of the many privacy and security books published in 2015:
Proponents for allowing government officials to have backdoors to encrypted communications need to read Franz Kafka. Nearly a century ago, Kafka deftly captured the irony at the heart of their argument in his short story, “The Burrow.”
After the Paris attacks, national security proponents in the US and abroad have been making even more vigorous attempts to mandate a backdoor to encryption.
“The US is developing a law of cybersecurity that is incoherent and unduly complex,” says Ed McNicholas, one of the foremost experts on cybersecurity law.
McNicholas is a partner at Sidley Austin LLP and co-editor of the newly-published treatise, Cybersecurity: A Practical Guide to the Law of Cyber Risk (with co-editor Vivek K. Mohan). The treatise is a superb guide to this rapidly-growing body of law, and it is nicely succinct as treatises go. It is an extremely useful volume that I’m delighted I have on my desk. If you practice in this field, get this book.