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An inside look at who's watching you, what they know and why it matters. We are being watched. We see online ads from websites we've visited, long after we've moved on to other interests. Our smartphones and cars transmit our location, enabling us to know what's in the neighborhood but also enabling others to track us. And the federal government, we recently learned, has been conducting a massive data-gathering surveillance operation across the Internet and on our phone lines. In Dragnet Nation, award-winning investigative journalist Julia Angwin reports from the front lines of America's surveillance economy, offering a revelatory and unsettling look at how the government, private companies, and even criminals use technology to indiscriminately sweep up vast amounts of our personal data. In a world where we can be watched in our own homes, where we can no longer keep secrets, and where we can be impersonated, financially manipulated, or even placed in a police lineup, Angwin argues that the greatest long-term danger is that we start to internalize the surveillance and censor our words and thoughts, until we lose the very freedom that makes us unique individuals. Appalled at such a prospect, Angwin conducts a series of experiments to try to protect herself, ranging from quitting Google to carrying a "burner" phone, showing how difficult it is for an average citizen to resist the dragnets' reach. Her book is a cautionary tale for all of us, with profound implications for our values, our society, and our very selves.
Computerized processes are everywhere in our society. They are the automated phone messaging systems that businesses use to screen calls; the link between student standardized test scores and public schools’ access to resources; the algorithms that regulate patient diagnoses and reimbursements to doctors. The storage, sorting, and analysis of massive amounts of information have enabled the automation of decision-making at an unprecedented level. Meanwhile, computers have offered a model of cognition that increasingly shapes our approach to the world. The proliferation of “roboprocesses” is the result, as editors Catherine Besteman and Hugh Gusterson observe in this rich and wide-ranging volume, which features contributions from a distinguished cast of scholars in anthropology, communications, international studies, and political science. Although automatic processes are designed to be engines of rational systems, the stories in Life by Algorithms reveal how they can in fact produce absurd, inflexible, or even dangerous outcomes. Joining the call for “algorithmic transparency,” the contributors bring exceptional sensitivity to everyday sociality into their critique to better understand how the perils of modern technology affect finance, medicine, education, housing, the workplace, food production, public space, and emotions—not as separate problems but as linked manifestations of a deeper defect in the fundamental ordering of our society.
They are driven without respect for the lives they are changing… “Boy Kings,” or Big Tech Tyrants, are considered the most powerful individuals in the world. They’re the autocratic aristocrats who run the tech giants in Silicon Valley, and if the labels are accurate, they suggest these social platform operators have gained a non-elected (or, should we say, a self-elected) authoritarian power. They wield it with more effectiveness and precision than any sitting government or military strategist. Big Tech Tyrants boast riches beyond emperors of old but act like juveniles who don’t want to grow up. They are modern-day robber barons. Big Tech Tyrants don’t know the meaning of privacy, when it comes to you. They try to make you believe they will give their products away for free as a service to society, when really, they are vacuuming your personal data. They use this data to discover your deepest secrets. Are you or your partner trying to get pregnant? Are you underwater financially? Are you having an extramarital affair? Do you have a tidy nest egg? Are you a Trump supporter? Are you a Bernie Sanders follower? Are you a Scientologist, Mormon, Christian, or Buddhist? Your personal data is extremely valuable to them—and they use it—and abuse. These tyrants knowingly addict users to make more money. Not only that, they also consider themselves the most enlightened the world has ever seen—so they know what’s best for you to see—from the news and information you read to the political candidates they think you should vote for. They censor news and only let you see what they want you to see. This is an eye-opening must read for anyone living in the twenty-first century!
This book explores the increasingly broad terrain of drugs in American society with an emphasis on politics. It begins with the War on Drugs initiated by President Richard Nixon in the early 1970s and extends to the current day with the vast power of the pharmaceutical industry (Big Pharma), expansion of global criminal syndicates, militarization of the drug war, and struggles between states and federal government over the legalization of marijuana. From the beginning, the drug war produced increasing authoritarian tendencies in American politics, visible not only in swollen national bureaucracies and burgeoning police functions, but in the rise of the largest prison-industrial complex in the world, a surveillance state, and the weakening of personal privacy and freedoms. At the same time, the legal drug system with some of the most profitable business operations anywhere has expanded to create a huge medical edifice, affecting the delivery of health care, development of modern psychology, evolution of the treatment industry, and many other areas of contemporary life, including the world of sports and recreation. Although prohibitionism remains very much alive, targeting a wide range of illicit drugs, today it is the hundreds of widely-marketed chemical substances sold by Big Pharma that result in some of the most serious health problems affecting society. This book explores the long historical trajectory of both the War on Drugs and the growth of Big Pharma, focusing on social outcomes and political consequences in the US and beyond.
Considers different understandings of privacy and provides examples of legal responses to the threats associated with new modalities of surveillance and digital technology.
Some would argue that scarcely a day passes without a new assault on our privacy. In the wake of the whistle-blower Edward Snowden's revelations about the extent of surveillance conducted by the security services in the United States, Britain, and elsewhere, concerns about individual privacy have significantly increased. The Internet generates risks, unimagined even twenty years ago, to the security and integrity of information in all its forms. The manner in which information is collected, stored, exchanged, and used has changed forever; and with it, the character of the threats to individual privacy. The scale of accessible private data generated by the phenomenal growth of blogs, social media, and other contrivances of our information age pose disturbing threats to our privacy. And the hunger for gossip continues to fuel sensationalist media that frequently degrade the notion of a private domain to which we reasonably lay claim. In the new edition of this Very Short Introduction, Raymond Wacks looks at all aspects of privacy to include numerous recent changes, and considers how this fundamental value might be reconciled with competing interests such as security and freedom of expression. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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