Surveillance Valley

Surveillance Valley

The Secret Military History of the Internet

Book - 2018
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Grand Central Pub
The internet is the most effective weapon the government has ever built.

In this fascinating book, investigative reporter Yasha Levine uncovers the secret origins of the internet, tracing it back to a Pentagon counterinsurgency surveillance project.

A visionary intelligence officer, William Godel, realized that the key to winning the war in Vietnam was not outgunning the enemy, but using new information technology to understand their motives and anticipate their movements. This idea -- using computers to spy on people and groups perceived as a threat, both at home and abroad -- drove ARPA to develop the internet in the 1960s, and continues to be at the heart of the modern internet we all know and use today. As Levine shows, surveillance wasn't something that suddenly appeared on the internet; it was woven into the fabric of the technology.

But this isn't just a story about the NSA or other domestic programs run by the government. As the book spins forward in time, Levine examines the private surveillance business that powers tech-industry giants like Google, Facebook, and Amazon, revealing how these companies spy on their users for profit, all while doing double duty as military and intelligence contractors. Levine shows that the military and Silicon Valley are effectively inseparable: a military-digital complex that permeates everything connected to the internet, even coopting and weaponizing the antigovernment privacy movement that sprang up in the wake of Edward Snowden.

With deep research, skilled storytelling, and provocative arguments, Surveillance Valley will change the way you think about the news -- and the device on which you read it.

Baker & Taylor
Documents the military origins of the Internet as a computer networking project for surveillance and examines how the same objectives influence how Silicon Valley grows and develops the Internet today.

& Taylor

"Starting in the early 1960s, there was fear in America about the proliferation of computer database and networking technologies. People worried that these systems were going to be used by both corporations and governments for surveillance and control. Indeed, the dominant cultural view at the time was that computers were tools of repression, not liberation -- and that included the ARPANET, the military research network that would grow into the Internet we use today. Surveillance Valley starts in the past, but moves into the present, looking at the private surveillance business that powers much of Silicon Valley and the overlap between the Internet and the military-industrial complex. It also investigates and uncovers the close ties that exist between U.S. intelligence agencies and the anti-government privacy movement that has sprung up in the wake of Edward Snowden's leaks. The Internet was developed as a weapon, and remains a weapon today. American military interests continue to dominate all parts of the network, even those that supposedly stand in opposition."--Provided by publisher.
An investigative journalist documents the lesser-known history of the internet and how he believes the government has played a significant role in its development for the specific purpose of spying on citizens at home and abroad. 20,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York :, PublicAffairs,, [2018]
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781610398022
Branch Call Number: 355.3432 LEV
Characteristics: vii, 371 pages ;,25 cm


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Aug 05, 2018

I'm a little numb after finishing the book. Naturally, I now feel like turning off my devices forever (right after I rate this book). If you are interested in privacy you must read this book, though it is a bit dry. Levine has extensive, helpful notes.

Mar 11, 2018

************************ 20 STARRED Review *******************************
Please pay close attention to what Yasha Levine has to say about TOR and the EFF [I've long believed the EFF to be a front organization, cleverly run; good people lower down {the working types}, senior exec types with CIA/NSA/DIA ties]. Did not realize the CIA was funding Chinese supremacist groups! site, run by an American expat living in New Zealand, has long been featuring articles suggesting that TOR was compromised from the get-go, and reading this book will impress on the reader what a honeypot it really appears to be.
Essentially, Jacob Appelbaum is an intelligence agency cutout - - either unknowingly or knowingly {I suspect unknowingly, as a fat salary and giant travel expense account works wonders on one's curiosity} - - working on their behalf, but Assange I've always believed to be the real deal, just a bit gullible in believing he could take on the financial elites overtly - - that is always a losing deal!
Reading this, together with Robert O'Harrow's book, No Place To Hide, and Robert Scheer's book, They Know Everything About You, should completely clue in even the most oblivious soul out there as to the full spectrum surveillance extant today.

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