A powerful argument for new laws and policies regarding cyber-security, from the former US Secretary of Homeland Security.
The most dangerous threat we - individually and as a society - face today is no longer military, but rather the increasingly pervasive exposure of our personal information; nothing undermines our freedom more than losing control of information about ourselves. And yet, as daily events underscore, we are ever more vulnerable to cyber-attack.
In this bracing book, Michael Chertoff makes clear that our laws and policies surrounding the protection of personal information, written for an earlier time, need to be completely overhauled in the Internet era. On the one hand, the collection of data - more widespread by business than by government, and impossible to stop - should be facilitated as an ultimate protection for society. On the other, standards under which information can be inspected, analysed or used must be significantly tightened.
In offering his compelling call for action, Chertoff argues that what is at stake is not so much the simple loss of privacy, which is almost impossible to protect, but of individual autonomy - the ability to make personal choices free of manipulation or coercion. Offering colourful stories over many decades that illuminate the three periods of data gathering we have experienced, Chertoff explains the complex legalities surrounding issues of data collection and dissemination today, and charts a path that balances the needs of government, business and individuals alike.
About the Author
Michael Chertoff was the second Secretary of Homeland Security from 2005-2009. He previously served at a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, as a federal prosecutor, as Assistant U.S. Attorney General and as United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey - one of only two U.S. Attorneys who was not replaced when the Clinton administration took office in 1993. Chertoff is the author of Homeland Security: Assessing the First Five Years. He is today Executive Chairman and co-founder of The Chertoff Group, a security consulting company, and senior counsel to the firm of Covington and Burling.
Essential reading for leaders, legislators and those committed to preserving the balance between individual empowerment and individual freedom in the latest phase of our digital age. -- Rt Hon Lord (John) Reid, former UK Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Defence
Michael Chertoff provides an eye-opening account of just how effectively our personal data is being harvested by the private sector and how it can be used to manipulate us by hostile groups and governments. As a former Homeland Security Secretary and a distinguished lawyer his warnings, and advice on sensible steps that could be taken now to manage the risks, carry great weight. -- Sir David Omand, former Director of GCHQ/former UK Security and Intelligence Coordinator
This important book offers highly intelligent commentary, of a kind I have not read elsewhere, on the challenges posed by the technology revolution and the accompanying 'explosion' of data...a 'must read' for experts and the general public alike. -- Sir John Scarlett, Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) 2004-2009
Important and insightful...an authoritative guide to understanding the legal and security challenges posed by the rapidly evolving digitally driven cyber landscape. * Washington Times *
...works as both a Big Data primer and a clear-sighted road map for legislative changes * Publishers Weekly *
A serious but accessible book on an important subject that affects us all. * Booklist *
Few people - maybe only Michael Chertoff - could write a book like this. It combines his unique experience as Federal prosecutor, judge, assistant attorney general on 9/11 and then Secretary of Homeland Security to describe in layman's language the ubiquity of 'digital exhaust' we leave for others to learn about us and lawfully or unlawfully track us. This must-read book describes the barriers to 'opting out' and the need to modernise legal authorities if we are to protect both security and privacy. -- Jane Harman, CEO of the Wilson Center and former member of U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence and Homeland Security committees
When George Orwell wrote 1984, little did he suspect that most of us would willingly carry the tools of our surveillance in our pockets. Michael Chertoff brings his unmatched legal skills and experience to propose tougher restrictions on the use, retention and dissemination of the data that is exploding around us. This important book is a vote for sanity in the midst of chaotic change. -- Joseph S. Nye, Jr., author of THE FUTURE OF POWER