Technospies"" is NBC Washington correspondent Rowan's term for widescale, government-sanctioned computer snooping on...

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TECHNOSPIES

Technospies"" is NBC Washington correspondent Rowan's term for widescale, government-sanctioned computer snooping on Americans by federal agencies, banks, and private organizations alike--and according to this serious popular treatment, there's no end in sight. What worries Rowan is not only the misuse of computer technology, but the use of personal information--put on record, for instance, to get a Social Security card--for purposes that were not originally intended. The problem is further compounded, he notes, by the sharing of assorted data among federal agencies and private institutions. To illustrate the way the network of instantly retrievable information on virtually every citizen works, Rowan presents the experiences of prototypical persons whose files became common property. In this way he provides an agency-by-agency rundown of intelligence files maintained by the federal government, such as the CIA's operation CHAOS, which during the Vietnam War put 300,000 Americans into the computer network, or the FBI's ""Eisur""--electronic surveillance and monitoring of telephone conversations. Though national security is usually the pretext, people like Martin Luther King become the targets. New legislation, passed in 1976, places limits on presidential technospying, but more extensive and rigorous measures are in order, Rowan maintains, listing a number of ""essential"" steps. He makes the technicalities clear, the danger very present.

Pub Date: July 28, 1978

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1978