Thursday, February 26, 2009

Little Brother (2008)

"We struck out, four good friends, on our way to decode a clue, win the game - and lose everything we cared about, forever."
This action packed story by Cory Doctorow starts with terrorists blowing up the Bay Bridge and the BART tube going under the bay and keeps on going to the last page. Along the way, readers get a glimpse into the world of hacking as Marcus and his friends strike out against the Department of Homeland Security and its knee-jerk super-overreaction to the attack. We are taken along for the battle between security and privacy and trying to determine just where is the line that the government crosses when citizens feel victimized instead of safe. Of course what is a good action story without a little love thrown in and Marcus finds love even with all that is going on.
Many of the security systems that are described in this book are factual (such as the explanation of public and private encryption keys) but I could not find anything about the Xbox units which feature prominently in this story.
Please read this book and please read the afterwords. You will learn so much and will forever look at Fasttrack transponders and traffic cameras with a different view.
There is quite a bit of technospeak in this book but it should be very enjoyable for fans of fast action stories.
You can even download this book for free at
and yes, it is completely legal and endorsed by Mr. Doctorow.
My rating for this book: +++++

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