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Publisher's Summary

Data is everywhere. We create it every time we go online, turn our phones on (or off), and pay with credit cards. The data is stored, studied, and bought and sold by corporations and governments for surveillance and for control. "Foremost security expert" (Wired) and best-selling author Bruce Schneier shows how this data has led to a double-edged Internet - a Web that gives power to the people but is abused by the institutions on which those people depend.

In Data and Goliath, Schneier reveals the full extent of surveillance, censorship, and propaganda in society today, examining the risks of cybercrime, cyberterrorism, and cyberwar. He shares technological, legal, and social solutions that can help shape a more equal, private, and secure world. This is an audiobook to which everyone with an Internet connection - or bank account or smart device or car, for that matter - needs to listen.

©2015 Bruce Schneier (P)2015 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

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Great information

I work in the IT world and I knew a lot of this was going on. This book really helped understand a lot more of what is going on with data collection and what we can do about it. It is a very interesting read.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Really enjoyed

Much more understanding and appreciation of how services collect and use our data. Also, will no longer use Goggle

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Repetitive

This is an extremely important topic and I was looking forward to listening to this book.
However, I am not impressed with the writing so far. It is very repetitive - the author drives home the same point over and over again using multiple examples. It does get on one's nerves.
I am disappointed and will be looking for other books to inform myself.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A great book for our time!

Overall loved it. Great examples and sources for follow up. Schneier's text reads more like a peer reviewed work than a run of the mill book. He methodically outlines his thesis, which falls somewhere in the middle of perfect privacy and perfect surveillance. Carefully enumerating the reasons why his approach is both morally correct and practical to apply. Regarding the latter he builds on the work of others in outlining a true course.

I used the bookmark feature to note the many memorable moments in the audiobook. From references to Japanese internment and McCarthysism to the logical summation from FDR the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

This was my first audiobook. The narrator's voice was crisp and welcoming. I started the book last night and finished it this afternoon, thanks to both the subject matter, style of writing and clear articulation. Another note for users of the audible android app is to try the speed playback. I initially started at 1.0x, by the middle I was able to play at 2.0x and gradually increased until I got to 3.0x. For most of the time I was listening to the book I was also multitasking doing household chores. I hope all the narrators are as good.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great but 2 hours to long

Great for understanding how data is collected and can be used. Skip the last 2hrs.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Always good material from Bruce

This book has so much quality material, it is a must read if you really want to know what is going on.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • UK
  • 04-21-15

Two thumbs up

Informative, solution focused and practical. Draws attention to very obvious ways we all leave data trails. Suggestions for policy changes without resorting to histrionics or scare tactics.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Gary
  • Las Cruces, NM, United States
  • 09-22-16

Lots of facts, needed a narrative to not bore

I love the topic. I love the details provided in this book. But, to tell a story you need more than a great topic and a bunch of facts. One needs a narrative and an attitude to tie the pieces together. This book lacked the story telling 'je ne sais quas" (literal: "I don't know what", but figuratively "elusive quality") though he does have the attitude.

I don't think there is any current topic where I could be more interested in than along the lines of the merging of the data that is out there with computers and algorithms, and I would consider Edward Snowden a hero, because what we have learned from him and the potential to do harm (as well as good) with the merging of big data with computers and the power of using context and content that both government and corporations (and even private citizens) can use against us (or for us) as a potential threat to our liberty or a boon to our equality. Complete liberty means no equality, and complete equality means no liberty. There is a balance and books like this can offer a guideline, but it needs the story to tie the pieces together with a narrative of some kind.

I'll give an example, of a book that I just recently read. "Rise of the Machines", by Thomas Rid. He covers many of the same topics that were covered in this book, especially on the part of encryption and PGP (pretty good privacy). At the same time that book always had a theme woven into the story as a whole in which he was tying all the pieces together, and even summarized them in the final chapter for the dense reader like me. This book, "Data and Goliath", doesn't interweave them coherently and therefore made what should have been an incredibly exciting story for me into a dull story with a lot of facts.

My problem with this book is not that it didn't give the listener plenty of details, but it didn't give the listener an easy story to tell so one can, for example, share with colleagues over the water cooler while at work. The values we use to explain the world through science would include: simplicity, accuracy, prediction, fitting in to the web of knowledge, and lastly the ability to explain. In order to explain, one needs a story to put the pieces together this book doesn't offer that. (Galileo had a story to tell as well as plenty of details. Read "Dialogs Concerning Two Chief World Systems", e.g.).

I'm in the minority on this book. It gave me details which I loved, but it lacked a over arcing narrative that I could wrap my mind around. Good fiction needs a story to hook the listener, and non-fiction needs that narrative even more as to not bore. I like all genres of non-fiction except for the boring kind.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Data Collection for Dummies

Book offers a comprehensive research pertaining to ubiquitous mass surveillance, commonly referred to as Dataveillance. The topic is not only relevant to those with an interest in Data collection, but any person concerned with the erosion of privacy.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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PERSONAL PRIVACY & FREEDOM

Bruce Schneier’s book is about battles with government and private industry for personal privacy and freedom in the information age. The seriousness of the subject is diminished by millions of us who revel in the knowledge, accessibility, and convenience of the internet. However, Schneier explains how our appreciation and use of the internet threatens privacy and freedom.

Perfect as an adjective for human is an oxymoron. All human beings are emotionally and intellectually imperfect. Human beings conduct their lives within normative social boundaries. They are generally not criminal, sexually perverted, or psychologically impaired. However, all human beings transgress some social boundaries. Most individuals feel appropriately guilty for their transgression; suffer the personal and societal consequence, and then get on with their lives. This loose definition of humanity seems a fair description of all human beings. However, Schneier argues that use of the internet categorizes, spindles, and mutilates human lives. Like a forest being attacked by borer beetles, the internet infects the public; not with malicious intent, but with a hunger for money, power, and prestige.

The borer beetles of the internet are well-known; e.g. Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Amazon, the Federal Government, and a host of smaller species. Some borer beetles can kill a forest, while others benefit nature’s ecology by getting rid of weakened trees to regenerate healthy trees. Schneier suggests America is at a crossroad where captured data from the general public will either grow into a society’ killer or a humanized friend.

Schneier offers solutions. He acknowledges the necessity of surveillance but believes public oversight should be strengthened. Government regulation should require judicial warrants for spying on an individual. He argues that mass data collection is an unwarranted invasion of privacy that has little value in defeating terrorism. Only after the fact did mass surveillance reveal the perpetrators of the Boston marathon bombing. He suggests the same is true for the shoe bomber and the terrorist attack of the disability hospital in California. Mass data collection does not protect the public.

Schneier cautions that an individual’s data should be encrypted in ways that limit access to only those authorized by the individual. In general, Schneier is a proponent of encryption to secure the privacy of individuals.

Schneier’s book aptly describes the threats and benefits of big data. Terrorism is real but its threat cannot become an excuse for denying the privacy and freedom of the individual. Terrorism is just one of many risks in life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • pockets
  • 12-01-16

scary and eye opening

Depressingly scary accounts of how we are being spied on, how the powers are already being abused and how mass surveillance doesn't even work for its stated purposes.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • adriatik
  • 05-27-16

one of best I have read(listen)

I learn a lot of new thinks from this book. thinks that can not be read anywhere like this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Eric Gilmore
  • 03-31-16

Enlightening book; performance not great

Would you consider the audio edition of Data and Goliath to be better than the print version?

No

How could the performance have been better?

It would be better if the reader sounded like they understood the subject, the vocabulary and terms. I thought it was a poor recording overall and took away from my enjoyment of the book

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me scared about my privacy

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  • Jerome
  • 01-05-16

Stunning view into a secret world

Of interest to anyone who has a computer or smart phone.
A great insight into our digital world

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  • Alev Haddadieh
  • 12-30-15

An excellent book by Schneier

This book is a good read for any one on the cyber security. It's a good insight into how to control your data.