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Computer mics and cameras, some integral to the machines themselves, can be converted into the eyes and ears of tech-savvy voyeurs. Readers may be familiar with trojan-horse style malware that uses seemingly innocuous bits of software, downloaded unsuspectingly through email or updates, which then install and activate programs that can record keystrokes or open the machine up for remote control. Malicious use is not limited to petty lechers; Collection agencies may use the software to obtain photographs of an unpaid-for computer in use, but their agents -- proving that all power in human hands is liable to be abused -- are recorded here using it to leer at and blackmail customers who were caught in a state of nature before the camera.

Police officers using the same means succumb to the same ends. While collections companies and perverts may invade others' computers with the primitive justification, "Who's gonna stop me? In an ideal world, they are to be accountable to the public and its law. Part of The Internet Police is a history of the myriad of ways the government has attempted to rein in the internet first through laws that allow for what is still called "wiretapping", despite the fact that it now consists more of integrating police software with internet service providers' to scrutinize information being sent and received from a given IP address.

Governments also strong-arm telecommunications companies, forcefully suggesting that they build in 'backdoors' to their devices and networks to allow Uncle Sam or the Crown to easily find out what a given gadget is up to.

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The NSA specializes in such backdoors. Courts as well as the police can be used to take down 'criminals', although here Anderson's review is limited to the seemingly endless attempts by music companies to prosecute consumers for file-sharing. Unlike going after the programs themselves Napster being the most famous, with Limewire and Kazaa other heavyweights , these campaigns rendered only a lot of bad publicity. While there's a lot of digital crime not mentioned here pirated video games and DRM, identity theft , The Internet Police is a fast read and one that opens up a fascinating peek into how the internet is continuing to reshape the world we live in.

Opening with the utterly bizaare story of Sealand and serving up legal thrillers in miniature, it entertains while serving as a heads up as to how vulnerable we are using unsecured systems. New York Times article, "Spyware vs Spyware: Nate Hood's Internet Police" http: I was privileged to read a pre-release edition of this book. My review is, of course, based on this edition, and the final work may vary from it.

Anderson does a great job of chronicling how criminals have begun using the internet, how the police followed them, and how the internet has changed as a result of both. The book deals primarily with fraud, extortion, child porn, spam, and piracy. One of the most interesting tales from the book is of how voyeurs are able to gain control of a user's compu I was privileged to read a pre-release edition of this book. One of the most interesting tales from the book is of how voyeurs are able to gain control of a user's computer and webcam, and often get pictures or video of the naked user and then use the material to extort further material from them.

This is a novel, and frightening use of the internet, which I'd not heard of before.

The Internet Police : NPR

Anderson tells the stories of many people through the book and their roles in online crime--whether criminal, victim, cop, judge, lawmaker, etc. As he tells the stories, he asks the question, "How can we maintain a police presence on the internet without loosing anarchy, while still catching the crooks, without succumbing to totalitarianism? In fact, the entire book is really attempting to find a proper balance between "productive chaos" and police powers online.

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One of the most interesting things in the book is the revelation that many of the most vital tools that criminals use online was in fact created by the US Navy. The tool, "TOR" The Onion Router , actually requires others to use it--for good or ill, in order for the tool to have a legitimate use by the Navy, and other intelligence agencies. Without others using it, nations would immediately recognize the presence of government or the military at work. Anderson rightly realizes that the only way all online crime could be dealt with, would be in a totalitarian regime. Unless we are willing to bear this cost, we must keep a wary eye on the state, lest we fall to tyranny.

This is the conclusion of the book, all written prior to Edward Snowden's recent revelations. Anderson, of course, anticipates such a use of the internet by governments. Hopefully he was able to update the book some for its August release.

The Internet Police

This is a great book on how the internet has evolved due to its criminal use. I highly recommend it, as it is a critical topic to discuss as we face the realization that our own government has such powerful tools to spy on its own citizens. Sep 15, Datadrivencity. I loved this book.

I am a lawyer, and I'm sure that influenced the book's appeal for me, as Anderson has a particular focus on legal proceeding, discussing in one part how he was the only reporter to sit through the entire retrial of a lady sued for copyright infringement for using Kazaa. This leg works shows: Anderson was typically spot on in his discussion of legal topics, which is too much to expect from many journalists.

I found his writing compelling, and the stories fascinating. The book is I loved this book. The book is helpfully broken down in chapters based on topics, and then tracks one major story through the whole chapter. You can tell that Anderson did his homework and picked flagship storylines to move these chapters along. I particularly enjoyed the discussion of the federal takedown of the child pornography message board "The Cache" and the efforts to take out Sanford "Spamford" Wallace. The story of "Sealand" and HavenCo, which I had not been familiar with, also was entertaining.

A consistent theme in the book is how private parties often lobby the federal government to take over efforts to police online activity because of the government's perceived greater resources. He also emphasizes how the same tools developed by online criminals are the tools law enforcement uses to track them down, and how the police are using more and more technology with risks of privacy invasion.

He summarizes this balance near the end of the book: That doesn't mean we ever accept crime, piracy, or boorish behavior, but we tolerate them online just as we tolerate a certain amount of drunk driving, tax fraud, or jaywalking. August 12, Sold by: Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention law enforcement internet cases spam online police crime criminals tools agencies discussion piracy security.

Showing of 15 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. One justification for the rating is that I finished reading it, which often doesn't happen with books I download from Amazon because they sound like something I should read.

Reading this book, to me, was about as exciting as watching paint dry. Interesting and we'll researched example cases; however, given current federal government cases in the news, I was hoping for a more in-depth discussion of Internet surveillance by intelligence agencies Great read for the cases it does cover.

Nate provides one of the clearest and more comprehensive roundup of some of the major cases involving the Internet over the last decade. He deftly and inherently understand how they matter to our society writ large.

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I will happily add this to my canon of my favorite tech books. Maybe my expectations for this book were too high, but after few pages I started feeling disappointed. The stories have little of "fascinating and horrifying", they could probably have been told in a handful of online articles, and instead they go frequently rambling page after page. Some of them are so well known, like the case of Jammie Thomas-Rasset, that the detailed and lenghty description of the trials adds little to the discussion.

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This is unfortunate, because there are several topics that are quite relevant and get instead unfortunately diluted, like the availability of tools and services for malicious activities, the inbalance between the volumes of crime and law enforcement, and naturally the relationships between copyright, security and internet freeedom.

Last, the kindle edition is locked into narrow column of barely 30 charactes that makes reading and uneasy experience. This book was very well written - not getting bogged down in techno-speak. It was interesting starting with the first page and I hated to put it down. Very well written and researched. Certain details will make you sick to your stomach. Great job explaining both sides of issues. Is good to have a brief about history in Internet Crime. China wouldn't like "free Tibet" sites, while Saudi Arabia wouldn't tolerate even adult pornography. And the extraordinarily powerful global music and movie lobbies weren't about to sit idly by while a North Sea naval fort turned into Pirate Central.

But what were any of them going to do — summon HavenCo to court? Lackey went on to lay out his vision of an alternative to existing nation-states — which in his estimation were already overregulated and were heading in the direction of less, not more, personal liberty. The alternative that we have is to create ways that you can use technical means or use structuring or anything else to sort of take some of the bite out of some of these regulations. Really, nothing we're doing is enabling a truly new thing that you couldn't do if you were willing to break the law.

It's just that we're making it legal. Could sticking some servers inside the leg of a sea fort really make such behavior "legal"? Perhaps Lackey had picked up a bit of "fort madness" already — but he had a reason for thinking HavenCo might work. Roughs Tower wasn't just a rusting North Sea fort. It also claimed to be the world's tiniest country, called "Sealand. Bates was a true character, who had gone off to fight in the Spanish Civil War at age fifteen and later saw action in places like Italy, Iraq, and Syria. His family said that Bates was taken prisoner — among many other adventures — during the war and put on a plane that then crash-landed on Rhodes.

Bates tried to escape but was "captured stealing a fishing boat by the Fascista and later rescued from execution by firing squad by a passing German officer. Of course he was — it was just the sort of life Bates led. He once told an interviewer, "I might die young or I might die old, but I will never die of boredom. In , hooked on the pirate radio trend, Bates decided to seize Knock John, a Roughs Tower clone that stood closer in to shore, to house his radio transmitter. Knock John was already occupied by other pirate radio operators, so Bates and a small crew physically ejected the men and set up their own Radio Essex station there.

But Knock John was within the United Kingdom's three-mile territorial waters, and Bates was soon hauled into a UK court on charges of illegal broadcasting. Undeterred, Bates and his then fourteen-year-old son Michael packed up their gear and moved a few miles farther out. On Christmas Day , they took a boat to Roughs Tower. It too was already occupied by radio pirates running a station called Radio Caroline, but Bates dealt with the problem just as he had on Knock John. He seized the platform by force and left his own men in charge, but bad weather meant they could not be resupplied with food; they eventually had to be rescued by a government lifeboat sent from the mainland.

Roughs Tower was soon reoccupied by Radio Caroline, but Bates remained determined to secure the fort. In April , he partnered with Radio Caroline and agreed to share the platform. When a Radio Caroline crew member suffered severe rope burns and was taken ashore, however, Bates found himself in sole possession of the place.

How Crime Went Online-and the Cops Followed

He refused to let Radio Caroline staffers reboard. Defiant, Roy Bates painted his name on the side of the platform in large white letters. Caroline tried again, more dramatically, on June Bates and company again fought off the attackers with petrol bombs. When they withdrew, one man was left dangling from a ladder for two hours until a lifeboat from nearby Walton-on-Naze rescued him.

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  8. Soon after the clashes with Radio Caroline, Bates announced that Roughs Tower was its own country, the Principality of Sealand, and that he was its prince. Bates gave his wife Joan the title "princess" as a birthday present in Sealand's history over the next decades only got more bizarre. Bates took potshots at passing ships, the UK cabinet drew up plans to seize the tower, Bates was abducted and sent by boat to the Netherlands, he used a helicopter assault to retake the fort, and the German government sent a diplomat to check on one of Bates's "prisoners.