Reset by Ronald J. Deibert

4 out of 5 stars

A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.

The internet. It is either one of the best inventions that humanity has ever made or one of the worst. Sometimes it is difficult to know which is the right answer. It has put people with similar interests in contact with each other and who have benefitted greatly from that relationship. The flip side is that it is an easy and secure way for those with a more criminal perspective to exploit and steal from the innocent.

As the growing quantities of digital data swirl around the internet in what feels like an ever-increasing exponential curve, just who is looking at this data? It turns out that there is a vast unregulated industry that has a keen interest in what you are looking at and the sites that you are visiting. These consist of surveillance companies and government security agencies, dark PR agencies, hackers for hire, and others interested in manipulating things to their own agenda.

Like a couple of the other books that I have read recently, some of the things revealed in this book are quite terrifying. And I mean really terrifying. It is a problem that is not going away and coupled with the internet giants that control a lot of the data that we produce and consume, they seem unable or unwilling to do much about it. Probably as the current status quo is too profitable for them.

So where do we even start dealing with these issues?

Diebert has a whole chapter dedicated to suggestions on way to tackle these issues, called Retreat, Reform Restraint. In this, there are many different ways that he thinks might work, such as better international cooperation, a relinquishing of the grip that the global corporates elites have on us, and a suggestion that I hadn’t considered, removing anonymity from users.

He is an engaging writer, and it comes across in the text that he knows his stuff, making this an authentic read. He has got some solid ideas about the ways that we need to reclaim the internet once again for the good of humanity. Always remember, if you are not paying for something then you are the product.

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2 Comments

  1. Liz Dexter

    This sounds really good and interesting companion information to Richard Ovenden’s ideas in Burning the Books, I think.

    • Paul

      I am hoping to get to that in July. I guess that it has similar themes

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