Ben Oliver


Dragnet Nation

A quest for privacy, security, and freedom in a world of relentless surveillance.
09 June 2019

A practical first-person look into shaking off modern big-brother tracking technologies, from phones to credit cards to social media. Angwin takes a holistic view of trying to regain control of her privacy and anonymity and describes the pitfalls and anxieties involved with this.

As somewhat of a paranoid ad-blocking phone-blocking chat-encrypting person myself, I can say that the practical advice Angwin gives is somewhat out of date already. However, she gives a lucid account of the true price of privacy in the modern age that is more relevant than ever.

It’s not a dystopian or fear-mongering book though. The author’s unique perspective as a working mother is a break from the usual nerds and disaster preppers that are interested in the topic. She’s not afraid to highlight the absurdity of some of the steps you have to take to be truly anonymous.

This is a practical, positive, persuasive book that underlines the value of protecting one’s privacy without shaming those who don’t care.