Data and Goliath by Bruce Schneier – A Review

I finished Bruce Schneier’s latest contribution to the realm of corporate and governmental surveillance. This book is a great read if you want to understand just who IS spying on you. Turns out it is not just the NSA, but big corporations are collecting all data they can on customers and potential customers, and this information is sold and exchanged. Then there is the unholy alliance between corporate American and Big Government surveillance.

At the end, he recommended solutions in the last few chapters, but my favorite are from Chapter 15, Solutions for the Rest of Us. They are:

  • Notice Surveillance – start paying attention to all the times you have to part with personally identifying information.
  • Talk About Surveillance – hey, now you can stun your friends into numbed silence the way I do.  Kidding.  This topic must come to the forefront if we are going to see positive changes.  After two years of press, look how cybersecurity has been pushed to the top of mind.  We need to do the same for privacy.
  • Avoid Surveillance – pay with cash, alter your travel route to avoid camera location, use Duck Duck Go for your search engine, don’t take your cell phone when you travel to avoid being tracked.
  • Block Surveillance – by using encryption, use tracking blocker plugins such as Lightbeam, Privacy Badger. Use anonymity services such as TOR.
  • Distort Surveillance – some ways to achieve this is using made up information when signing up for online services or filling in online forms.
  • Break Surveillance – most of these activities will get you arrested if you are caught.

If you would like to check out this book, you can order it from Amazon using the link that follows.


About the Author:

Cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. Serving small business owners in the St Paul, Minneapolis, and western Wisconsin area since 2001. Cybersecurity and hacking have been a passion of mine since I entered the computer and networking business in 2000. I hold several cybersecurity certifications including Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Advanced Security Pratitioner (CASP), and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). Other computer industry certifications include A+, Network+ and Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE). As Cybersecurity Analyst at The WyzCo Group, I help our clients experience high levels of security on their computers, networks, and websites. In addition to consulting on security products and services, we also conduct security audits, vulnerability assessments and full penetration tests. We also work with companies and organizations that need to certify compliance with regulations such as PCI-DSS (credit card processing), HIPAA/HITECH (medical records), and GLBA. We also provide Cybersecurity Awareness Training for clients and their employees. I am a frequent speakers at cybersecurity conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference, the (ISC)2 World Congress, and the ISSA International Conference, and many local community organizations, Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2008.

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