Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness After the Digital Explosion, 2nd edition

  • Hal Abelson, 
  • Ken Ledeen, 
  • Harry Lewis, 
  • Wendy Seltzer

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What you must know to protect yourself today

The digital technology explosion has blown everything to bits--and the blast has provided new challenges and opportunities. This second edition of  Blown to Bits delivers the knowledge you need to take greater control of your information environment and thrive in a world that’s coming whether you like it or not.

Straight from internationally respected Harvard/MIT experts, this plain-English bestseller has been fully revised for the latest controversies over social media, “fake news,” big data, cyberthreats, privacy, artificial intelligence and machine learning, self-driving cars, the Internet of Things, and much more.

  • Discover who owns all that data about you—and what they can infer from it
  • Learn to challenge algorithmic decisions
  • See how close you can get to sending truly secure messages
  • Decide whether you really want always-on cameras and microphones
  • Explore the realities of Internet free speech
  • Protect yourself against out-of-control technologies (and the powerful organizations that wield them)

You will find clear explanations, practical examples, and real insight into what digital tech means to you--as an individual, and as a citizen.

Published by Addison Wesley (July 14th 2021) - Copyright © 2021

ISBN-13: 9780137460168

Subject: Pre-Programming & Introduction to Programming

Category: Additional Programming Languages

Table of contents

Preface     xvii

Chapter 1  Digital Explosion

Why Is It Happening, and What Is at Stake?     1

The Explosion of Bits, and Everything Else     4

The Koans of Bits     7

Good and Ill, Promise and Peril     17

Endnotes     19

Chapter 2  Naked in the Sunlight

Privacy Lost, Privacy Abandoned     21

1984 Is Here, and We Like It     21

Location, Location, Location     27

Big Brother, Abroad and in the United States     32

The Internet of Things     42

Endnotes     48

Chapter 3  Who Owns Your Privacy?

The Commercialization of Personal Data     51

What Kind of Vegetable Are You?     51

Footprints and Fingerprints     57

Fair Information Practice Principles     64

Always On     70

Endnotes     71

Chapter 4  Gatekeepers

Who’s in Charge Here?     75

Who Controls the Flow of Bits?     75

The Open Internet?     76

Connecting the Dots: Designed for Sharing and Survival     79

The Internet Has No Gatekeepers?     85

Links Gatekeepers: Getting Connected     86

Search Gatekeepers: If You Can’t Find It, Does It Exist?     94

Social Gatekeepers: Known by the Company You Keep     104

Endnotes     112

Chapter 5  Secret Bits

How Codes Became Unbreakable     117

Going Dark     117

Historical Cryptography     122

Lessons for the Internet Age     131

Secrecy Changes Forever     135

Cryptography Unsettled     147

Endnotes     148

Chapter 6  Balance Toppled

Who Owns the Bits?     153

Stealing Music     153

Automated Crimes, Automated Justice     155

The Peer-to-Peer Upheaval     160

No Commercial Skipping     167

Authorized Use Only     168

Forbidden Technology     172

Copyright Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance     177

The Limits of Property     183

Endnotes     187

Chapter 7  You Can’t Say That on the Internet

Guarding the Frontiers of Digital Expression     193

Child Sex Trafficking Goes Digital     193

Publisher or Distributor?     198

Protecting Good Samaritans—and a Few Bad Ones     205

Digital Protection, Digital Censorship, and Self-Censorship     215

What About Social Media?     219

Takedowns     221

Endnotes     222

Chapter 8  Bits in the Air

Old Metaphors, New Technologies, and Free Speech     227

Censoring the Candidate     227

How Broadcasting Became Regulated     228

The Path to Spectrum Deregulation     241

The Most Beautiful Inventor in the World     245

What Does the Future Hold for Radio?     255

Endnotes     261

Chapter 9  The Next Frontier

AI and the Bits World of the Future     265

Thrown Under a Jaywalking Bus     266

What’s Intelligent About Artificial Intelligence?     267

Machine Learning: I’ll Figure It Out     268

Algorithmic Decisions: I Thought Only People Could Do That     273

What’s Next     277

Bits Lighting Up the World     282

A Few Bits in Conclusion     287

Endnotes     288

Index     293

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