About literature…

I have been reading Cory Doctorow’s “Little Brother” lately. To those who do not know it: As the name suggests, it is a dystopia that describes how much things can go wrong if the state starts spying on its own citizens for the sake of national security. The technical part of it is actually pretty realistic (except for the “video over DNS” episode); you can argue whether the law enforcement institutions will have that much bandwidth and computing power to manage all incoming data from all possible sources of interest but still, that part is rather good and explains well the most important ideas from information security. The plot is somewhat predictable, which does not really matter; more of a problem are the characters that are mostly shallow and very stereotypical. I do not want to give away any significant spoilers, but most characters will not change. Probably I am over-criticizing the book (it was good enough to force me to stay awake until 3AM), so judge for yourself. Anyway, the book is a fun read. If it appears too short for you, I can suggest “Cryptonomicon” by Neal Stephenson, which is mostly an essay on security, secrecy and basic information theory buried in 1100 pages of a good novel with several tangled plots.

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