• Data and Goliath

  • The Hidden Battles to Capture Your Data and Control Your World
  • By: Bruce Schneier
  • Narrated by: Dan John Miller
  • Length: 9 hrs and 27 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (979 ratings)

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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 listeners say about Data and Goliath

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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.

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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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.

7 people found this helpful

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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.

7 people found this helpful

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Paranoia abounds

Would you try another book from Bruce Schneier and/or Dan John Miller?

I admire Bruce Schneier as an expert in cybersecurity. (Oh, and Dan Miller... it's SCHNEIER, not SCHNEIDER. I was embarrassed from the get-go that the narrator couldn't pronounce the author's name.) Anyway, Mr. Schneier is a brilliant man; however, this book made him sound like the most paranoid person in the world. I imagined a tin foil hat and a cabin in the woods. While it was insightful about some of the practices of major internet companies, it was also a giant Google-hate fest for a major portion of the book.

Has Data and Goliath turned you off from other books in this genre?

I work in the cybersecurity field and enjoy gaining any additional knowledge I can from all across the spectrum; however, I think I'll read more reviews of books prior to grabbing them. This book proved to me that even people who know a lot about the subject matter can still write a book that goes off the rails on their personal opinions.

What didn’t you like about Dan John Miller’s performance?

The mispronunciation of Bruce Schneier's name, from the introduction, turned me off right away.

Did Data and Goliath inspire you to do anything?

Not particularly.

Any additional comments?

I was a bit disappointed by this book, but did see it through to the end. It's useful, albeit frustrating.

7 people found this 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.

6 people found this 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.

6 people found this 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.

4 people found this helpful

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Google knows more about you than your family.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The content is great, Bruch Schneier is an excellent author and teacher. I believe much of the content should be required reading in high school. The book talks a side of things many don't even think nor care about...yet it's all happening. 1984 is old news. We sacrifice our freedoms for complacency and ease of use. My favorite point is google knows more about you than your wife, family or partner.

What does Dan John Miller bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The drone and inflections may be the reason this book does not "listen" well since after a couple chapters the information sort of blends together and sounds the same...

Any additional comments?

The book is great, but it's not exactly content designed for an audio book. After a few chapters it all starts to blend together into the same and gets pretty boring to listen to... especially when you listen while commuting. 45 mins here and there.. read it in place of listening.

3 people found this 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 people found this helpful

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Solid, slightly annoying narration

What about Dan John Miller’s performance did you like?

Miller was clear and easy to follow. However, something about his delivery was a bit too singsong, and grated on my nerves after a while.

Any additional comments?

Solid book. Nothing new (in that if you have read widely on privacy and cyber issues, you likely have had most of this covered), but if you need a primer, you could do worse. Caveat: Schneier has definite opinions on the proper course of things, on the rightful balance between security and privacy, and his opinion is not tempered. He does not really set forth everything objectively to let the reader make up their own mind (this isn't hidden, so isn't as problematic as it could be). I typically prefer books that are a bit more balanced, but on the plus side Schneier is able to take complex technical information and make it easily digestible to lay audiences, the overview is wide but too long, and a reader leaves fairly well-informed about the basic issues related to data in the modern world.

2 people found this 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 person found this helpful

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  • Adi
  • 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 person found this helpful

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  • P. Trollip
  • 12-20-21

An important topic for everyone today

This book offers us a deep insight into exactly why our data and personal data should be important to us and why we must safe guard it ourselves as much as possible and demand transparency with what is done with our data by others. Very interesting and especially interesting for IT students too. I will listen again.

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  • E 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.

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