A thought-provoking primer on the state of cybercrime.

THE INTERNET POLICE

HOW CRIME WENT ONLINE, AND THE COPS FOLLOWED

A nuanced study of crime on the Internet and how government and law enforcement agencies have been tackling it.

Ars Technica senior editor Anderson seems somewhat sympathetic to the notion of the Internet’s borderless, innovative exceptionalism. But unlike advocates of unfettered creative chaos and online liberty, the author argues that since the Internet went global in the 1990s, it has been followed by a rise in online criminal activities harmful to life, limb and property in the “real” world. These problems include offshore havens, child pornography, cyberpeeping and extortion, spambotting and identity theft, all of which have made policing it not only necessary, but inevitable. Rather than create new entities to handle these crimes, governments have relied on boots already on the ground—local police forces, the Federal Trade Comission, the FBI, even Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which has pursued overseas violators of American copyright protections with unusual—sometimes indiscriminate—aggressiveness. Anderson isn’t altogether impressed with the results. While scoring some impressive arrests and convictions of the creators and consumers of child pornography and of a creepy peeper named Luis Mijangos, law enforcement and the courts have had more difficulty going after spammers, pirates and other online crooks. In some cases, they have breeched privacy as brazenly as Mijangos, using remote access tools to spy on “owners” of stolen laptops, for example, without troubling themselves with obtaining court-issued warrants. Spammers and other fraudsters have proven elusive in the courts; on the other hand, penalties handed down by juries to copyright violators, like single mom and Kazaa user Jammie Thomas, have been thrown out by judges for being obscenely excessive. Unfortunately, there are few simple solutions on the horizon. “[W]e need the Internet police,” Anderson writes, “but we need to keep an eye on them—and on their tools.”

A thought-provoking primer on the state of cybercrime.

Pub Date: Aug. 19, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-393-06298-4

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Norton

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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