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The Red Web: The Struggle Between Russia's Digital Dictators and the New Online Revolutionaries

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Red Web: The Struggle Between Russia's Digital Dictators and the New Online Revolutionaries.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Andrei Soldatov(Author) Irina Borogan(Author)

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A Library Journal Best Book of 2015 A NPR Great Read of 2015The Internet in Russia is either the most efficient totalitarian tool or the device by which totalitarianism will be overthrown. Perhaps both.On the eighth floor of an ordinary-looking building in an otherwise residential district of southwest Moscow, in a room occupied by the Federal Security Service (FSB), is a box the size of a VHS player marked SORM. The Russian government's front line in the battle for the future of the Internet, SORM is the world's most intrusive listening device, monitoring e-mails, Internet usage, Skype, and all social networks.But for every hacker subcontracted by the FSB to interfere with Russia's antagonists abroad,such as those who, in a massive denial-of-service attack, overwhelmed the entire Internet in neighbouring Estonia,there is a radical or an opportunist who is using the web to chip away at the power of the state at home.Drawing from scores of interviews personally conducted with numerous prominent officials in the Ministry of Communications and web-savvy activists challenging the state, Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan peel back the history of advanced surveillance systems in Russia. From research labouratories in Soviet-era labour camps, to the legalization of government monitoring of all telephone and Internet communications in the 1990s, to the present day, their incisive and alarming investigation into the Kremlin's massive online-surveillance state exposes just how easily a free global exchange can be coerced into becoming a tool of repression and geopolitical warfare. Dissidents, oligarchs, and some of the world's most dangerous hackers collide in the uniquely Russian virtual world ofThe Red Web.

A Library Journal Best Book of 2015 A NPR Great Read of 2015 "[Soldatov and Borogan] pull at the roots of the surveillance system in Russia today, and their research leads them quickly to the paranoid society of the Soviet Union." --The Wall Street Journal "A well researched and disturbing book by two brave Russian authors." --The Economist "A gripping book about of the internet and its censorship in post-Soviet Russia... Having covered technology and the security services from the start of their careers in the 1990s, the two Russian journalists have accumulated expert knowledge few can match. And yet they have written a book not for geeks but for anyone who wants to understand how their country works." --Financial Times "A masterful study of the struggle between the Kremlin's desire to control information and the unruly world of ordinary digital citizens." --The Guardian (UK) "Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan's The Red Web could not be more timely. It is a meticulously researched and highly readable history of Russian online communication, from its birth in the twilight of Soviet power to the flourishing social networks and varied blogposts of today." --Daniel Treisman, Digital Russia "[An] excellent, highly readable tale of the ongoing struggle to control digital life in Russia. ...[Soldatov and Borogan] have gone on to become foremost experts on the Russian secret services, and count among the country's few remaining practicing investigative journalists." --Los Angeles Review of Books "Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan, two of Russia's top investigative journalists specializing in espionage, have given us a thrilling account of the online war between Russian surveillance and digital protesters. ... A superb book by two brave journalists. It deserves to be widely read because it asks profound questions about freedom and the future of the internet." --International Affairs "Having demonstrated the resurgent power of Russia's secret services in their first book, The New Nobility, Soldatov and Borogan devote much of The Red Web to tracing the roots of modern Russia's surveillance programs back to the KGB. It is a convincing effort, as the authors take the reader back to the 1950s and show how, for more than six decades, the Soviet and then Russian state sought to apply its best minds and, eventually, its best technology to the task of knowing who was doing what, when, where and why." --OpenDemocracy "[Soldatov and Borogan]'s incisive and alarming investigation into the Kremlin's massive online-surveillance state exposes just how easily a free global exchange can be coerced into becoming a tool of repression and geopolitical warfare." --ANONYMOUS "The Red Web examines Putin's power grabs and the Russian government's use of surveillance, overt censorship, and intimidation through technology in recent years." --Publishers Weekly "Riveting... A sad story for supporters of Internet freedom. The authors describe how a relentless security apparatus supported by armies of 'patriotic citizen hackers' deploys unevenly against Russian activists and journalists, resulting in state intimidation, detention, and likely murder." --Library Journal, Starred Review "Russia hands and Net neutrality advocates alike will find plenty to intrigue in this report from the front lines." --Kirkus Reviews "Russian journalists expose Internet censorship and surveillance in Putin's Russia." --Shelf Awareness, Starred Review "[Andrei Soldatov is] the single most prominent critic of Russia's surveillance apparatus." --Edward Snowden "If you want to know the history of Russian intelligence, look no further. Revealing, new, and rich in detail. From simple surveillance to electronic snooping Russian-style, a gripping and important study. This is a book you hope Russian officials don't find in your luggage." --Richard Engel, chief foreign correspondent, NBC News

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Review Text

  • By Jo on 5 September 2017

    Informative answers to many questions concerning past and present politics, international affairs, and the use of information technologies. Reading this gave me a much clearer picture of Putin.

  • By AZ on 2 April 2016

    This is informative and well-written, giving a picure of how the Russian state has accces to everyone's telephonic and electronic communcations, and their on-line activity, as a matter of course. The capability and is evolution are explained clearly, as is the complicity of every communications provider in Russia in fitting the necessary equipment. This seems to be the sort of capability which the UK's 2016 Investigatory Powers Bill seeks, but without any effective need for judicial approval and warrants, and without any post-facto oversight. Given that the Russian state no longer has confidence in its citizens, why not elect a new, trustworthy, people instead? Answer - because it is easier just to watch everyone, and to let them know that you are doing so. Back to the days of the KGB and the USSR, but even more throughly.

  • By abir pinchas on 20 March 2016

    This book was not at all what I expected...essentially its a rundown of the authors paretns work in KGB labs, a set of very specific anti-censorship activities, and reruns of Putin's meetings with Russian Internet figures...badly drawn together and devidely lacking in insights....better to follow the news online....


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