Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archives Mar 21 2015, Page 98

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Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - March 21, 2015, Winnipeg, Manitoba C M Y K PAGE 23 BOOKS D23 Winnipeg Free Press, Saturday, March 21, 2015 NEW IN PAPER The Burning Room By Michael Connelly ( Grand Central, $ 18) Det. Harry Bosch and new partner Lucia Soto track down years- old evidence in the case of a man who was shot and dies from his wounds nine years later . When Paris Went Dark: The City of Light Under German Occupation, 1940- 1944 By Ronald C. Rosbottom ( Little, Brown, $ 20) Using a range of resources, daily life in Paris under German occupation during the Second World War is examined — including an underground resistance. Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life in the Minor Leagues of Baseball By John Feinstein ( Anchor, $ 20) From ex- pros to up- and- comers, Feinstein follows nine minor- league baseball players hoping to get a shot at playing in the big leagues. I MAGINE a robot drone the size of a spider that can crawl into the shower and inject poison into a political opponent while being operated by an assassin thousands of kilometres away. Imagine an aerial drone flying through a sold- out football stadium, spraying deadly anthrax spores. Imagine some creep getting teen girls to download malicious software that allows him to take sexually explicit photos and videos of them through their webcams and then post them on the Internet. Wait. That last one really happened. The spider assassin and the anthrax drone haven’t happened yet — but they could, warn Benjamin Wittes and Gabriella Blum in The Future of Violence . Wittes is a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution. Blum is a professor of human rights and international humanitarian law at Harvard Law School. Together they direct the Harvard Law School- Brookings Project on Law and Security. Both have written previous books in the field. This is their first book together. All the assumptions we have made about liberty, privacy and security must be rethought in this new world, they say. The “ technologies of mass empowerment” create a world of many- to- many threats, but also a world of many- to- many defences. Governments can be vulnerable to attacks by computer hackers — but those hackers are also vulnerable. Consider the 2009 GhostNet attacks. Cyber- spies, thought to be from China, infected more than 1,000 computers in more than 100 countries to spy on the Dalai Lama, news organizations and governments. But the hackers were themselves spied on and exposed by a Canadian group called the Information Warfare Monitor, an offshoot of the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto. In their report, the Canadian counter- hackers dryly noted that cyberspace now gives them powers that were previously available only to state intelligence agencies. Wittes and Blum base their proposed governance model on the writings of 17th- century political philosopher Thomas Hobbes as well as Nineteen Eighty- Four author George Orwell. Hobbes’ Leviathan is a friendly giant sovereign who uses power to protect people. Orwell’s all- powerful Big Brother uses video and audio surveillance to enforce conformity with the state’s dictates. The authors take a novel view of the recent revelations about the National Security Administration in the U. S. While many analysts said the secret files released by military sub- contractor Edward Snowden showed the U. S. government has too much power, Wittes and Blum point out that the NSA had to get most of the data from Google and Facebook — private- sector corporations with far more information on all of us than governments. To critics who say the NSA shouldn’t be out cruising the Internet, Wittes and Blum respond that, when properly used, patrols of cyberspace are as salutary as a police officer in a children’s park. The challenge is to avoid the excesses of Big Brother, while harnessing Leviathan to control the Little Brothers — such as the man who spied on the teens. The American is in jail, thanks to the FBI and the courts. but if he had operated from some other country, he might still be trapping his victims. Under the governance model the authors propose, national governments would exercise benevolent authority in co- operation with each other, the communications carriers and public- minded citizens. But they concede that even if their ideal were to be achieved, we would all still be vulnerable in ways we’ve never been before. Donald Benham is director of hunger and poverty awareness at Winnipeg Harvest. I T’S not startling to hear our interconnected digital world is insecure. What is disturbing is to learn how broadly, how deeply and how structurally vulnerable those quotidian digital spaces are that we’ve come to depend on in our private and public lives. Put another way, the Internet makes the Toronto Maple Leafs defensive core look airtight. Marc Goodman’s Future Crimes impressively and encyclopedically documents the dark and broken aspects of our digital connectedness. A cyber- security expert, founder of the Future Crimes Institute, and the chair for policy, law and ethics at Silicon Valley’s Singularity University, Goodman unflinchingly and relentlessly illuminates the insidious pervasiveness of cybercrime — past, present and future. He does this in such vivid detail it will have even the most ardent techno- geek pining for the bygone era of typewriters and rotary phones. Goodman is neither a Luddite nor a crusty pessimist when it comes to communication technology. His approach, which he insists is not fear- mongering, is aimed at waking us up in time to “ survive progress.” With our digital environment poised to expand exponentially and in a much more physical manner through the so- called “ Internet of Things” ( the digital webbing of cars, houses, appliances, drones, robots and even our biological selves), Goodman is desperately imploring us — individually and as a society — to become technologically literate. “ Because technology is woven through the entire fabric of our modern lives, we have a social problem, a personal problem, a financial problem, a healthcare problem, a public safety problem, a government problem, a governance problem, a transportation problem, an energy problem, a privacy problem, and a human rights problem,” he argues in a piling- on strategy characteristic of Future Crimes . “ Now is the time to completely reevaluate all that we take for granted in this modern world and question our dependence on the ubiquitous machines that so few of us understand.” Case after case after case is presented to hammer home the worrisome leakiness of the Internet and the vulnerability of the technologies in its orbit. From sloppy computer coding to our blind faith in what we see on our screens, from the all- too- often mindless adoption of new technologies to unconscionable terms of service agreements, Goodman provides a tower of evidence to show all digitized data can be hacked, cracked, warped or stolen. Moreover, in such porous and poorly policed spaces, dark worlds find a home. This is particularly true of the Dark Web, the “ digital underground.” It’s here where illegal drugs, human organs, human trafficking, weapons and kiddie pornography are sold. In an especially vile example of what goes on in the Dark Web, Goodman tells us of pedophile networks with livestreaming pay- per- view acts of sexual abuse that welcome viewer requests. Future Crimes concludes with a grandiose call to action and an appendix listing some pretty pedestrian things that individuals can do to improve their online security. After spending three- quarters of his almost 400- page work on online terrors, Goodman prescribes a cocktail of big ideas, such as having “ faith in people” and creating a “ Manhattan Project for cyber,” which seem more gimmicky and superficial than a real attempt to confront root causes. Putting aside his poor prescription, which certainly suggests deeper problems, Future Crimes does a fine job acting as a wake- up call to those caught in a digital slumber. Greg Di Cresce is a Winnipeg journalist and a student of communication history. B USINESS or Blood: Mafia Boss Vito Rizzuto’s Last War chronicles the bloody underworld power struggle in Montreal that escalated when Vito Rizzuto, the undisputed leader of the Mob in Montreal, was in custody for eight years beginning in 2004 for his involvement in the mobrelated “ Three Captains” triple slaying in New York in 1981. It was an escalation in violence Rizzuto predicted would happen when he was fighting extradition to the U. S., warning authorities it would occur if he were not present to exert his “ calming influence” on Montreal’s underworld. The book’s title refers to the two main reasons mobsters kill each other — to forward their business interests or for revenge. Rizzuto’s enemies made sure the leadership void created by his incarceration was not filled by either his son, Nick Jr., or his father, Nicolo, murdering both men less than a year apart in 2008- 09. In many cases, the line between blood and business is ambiguous. In the case of Vito Rizzuto, however, as portrayed by veteran crime writers and reporters Peter Edwards and Antonio Nicaso, it is clear business was secondary to his desire to avenge the deaths of not only his father and his eldest son, but his many friends and associates who were killed and injured during the bloodletting that took place while he was, ironically, safely incarcerated in the U. S. A man such as Rizzuto doesn’t rise to the pinnacle of underworld power without making a few enemies. Those against whom he was exacting his revenge had their own reasons for wanting members of Rizzuto’s organization out of the picture. Edwards and Nicaso do a fine job of connecting the dots of criminal enterprises spanning several decades in numerous countries and including various ethno- cultural groups. They are quick to point out this not just a story about Italian organized crime, but includes gangsters from a variety of backgrounds. The authors have done exhaustive research to provide readers with the necessary background regarding organized crime in Quebec, eastern Ontario, Italy and the U. S. Their research includes information that could only be gleaned from those close to the action. The book includes a timeline of events dating back to the 1800s, but concentrates mostly on the events taking place from the time Nicolo Rizzuto established himself as a mobster in the latter half of the 20th century until shortly after Vito’s death, apparently of natural causes, late in 2013. Readers unfamiliar with the history of organized crime in eastern Canada and Italy will need a scorecard to keep track of the thugs, hit men and other assorted ne’er- do- wells that inevitably populate a story such as this. Fortunately, the book includes a cast of characters split into criminal associations and geographical designations, which is helpful for keeping straight who’s who in a world where loyalties can change overnight and yesterday’s street punk is tomorrow’s boss. In Business or Blood , fans of the true- crime genre have a comprehensive telling of a recent, bloody chapter of Canadian organized- crime history. It explores the reasons mass bloodlettings take place and the repercussions for organized crime and society. Gilbert Gregory is a Free Press copy editor. Reviewed by Greg Di Cresce Plenty of cyber- crime on poorly policed web Future Crimes: Everything is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It By Marc Goodman Doubleday Canada, 392 pages, $ 34 Reviewed by Gilbert Gregory Mob boss preferred revenge over money Business or Blood: Mafia Boss Vito Rizzuto’s Last War By Peter Edwards and Antonio Nicaso Penguin Random House, 311 pages, $ 32 Reviewed by Donald Benham A better BIG BROTHER Liberty, privacy and security must be re- thought, authors declare The Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones By Benjamin Wittes and Gabriella Blum Basic Books, 268 pages, $ 35 al te se da st po Th th il fi ar wh te so pe us fo ce it an mi sh po D_ 23_ Mar- 21- 15_ FF_ 01. indd D23 3/ 19/ 15 5: 43: 28 PM

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