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ISBN: 9781487008055

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Reclaiming the Internet for Civil Society

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In the 2020 CBC Massey Lectures, bestselling author and renowned technology and security expert Ronald J. Deibert exposes the disturbing influence and impact of the internet on politics, the economy, the environment, and humanity.

Digital technologies have given rise to a new machine-based civilization that is increasingly linked to a growing number of social and political maladies. Accountability is weak and insecurity is endemic, creating disturbing opportunities for exploitation.

Drawing from the cutting-edge research of the Citizen Lab, the world-renowned digital security research group which he founded and directs, Ronald J. Deibert exposes the impacts of this communications ecosystem on civil society. He tracks a mostly unregulated surveillance industry, innovations in technologies of remote control, superpower policing practices, dark PR firms, and highly profitable hack-for-hire services feeding off rivers of poorly secured personal data. Deibert also unearths how dependence on social media and its expanding universe of consumer electronics creates immense pressure on the natural environment. In order to combat authoritarian practices, environmental degradation, and rampant electronic consumerism, he urges restraints on tech platforms and governments to reclaim the internet for civil society.

Contributors

Ronald J. Deibert

Ronald J. Deibert is professor of Political Science and director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto. The Citizen Lab undertakes interdisciplinary research at the intersection of global security, information and communications technologies, and human rights. The research outputs of the Citizen Lab are routinely covered in global media, including more than two dozen reports that received exclusive front-page coverage in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other global media over the past decade. Deibert is the author of Black Code: Surveillance, Privacy, and the Dark Side of the Internet, as well as numerous books, chapters, articles, and reports on internet censorship, surveillance, and cybersecurity. In 2013, he was appointed to the Order of Ontario and awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal, for being “among the first to recognize and take measures to mitigate growing threats to communications rights, openness, and security worldwide."
Chapter Title Abstract Contributors Pages Year Price

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In the introduction, Deibert explores our dependence on smart phones and the internet, and the anxiety that this can cause. He also discusses social media, cyberwarfare, data breaches, and how we … 28 $2.80

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Chapter 1 explores the economic engine that underlies social media: the personal data surveillance economy. Social media platforms describe themselves in many different, seemingly benign ways: … 40 $4.00

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Chapter 2 examines the interplay between social media and social psychology. The job of social media engineers is to design their products in such a way as to capture and retain users’ … 55 $5.50

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Chapter 3 broadens out and scrutinizes the ways in which social media and other related digital technologies have contributed to what Deibert calls a “great leap forward in technologies of … 58 $5.80

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Chapter 4 turns to the often overlooked and largely obscured physical and material infrastructure of social media and the communications ecosystem. Although we tend to think of social media and … 47 $4.70

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In the final chapter, the author turns to the question “What is to be done?” The negative implications of social media are increasingly acknowledged and well documented. But what to … 68 $6.80