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My latest Guardian column is Technology is making the world more unequal. Only technology can fix this; in it, I argue that surveillance and control technology allow ruling elites to hold onto power despite the destabilizing effects of their bad decisions — but that technology also allows people to form dissident groups and protect them from intrusive states.

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I have a column in today’s International Business Times: Unchecked Surveillance Technology Is Leading Us Towards Totalitarianism, where I discuss this week’s NYPL event with Edward Snowden and how mass surveillance connects to the themes in my novel Walkaway.

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My new Locus column is “It’s Time to Short Surveillance and Go Long on Freedom,” which starts by observing that Barack Obama’s legacy includes a beautifully operationalized, professional and terrifying surveillance apparatus, which Donald Trump inherits as he assumes office and makes ready to make good on his promise to deport millions of Americans and place Muslims under continuous surveillance.
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My latest Locus column, “Peak Indifference”, draws a comparison between the history of the “debate” about the harms of smoking (a debate manufactured by disinformation merchants with a stake in the controversy) and the current debate about the harms of surveillance and data-collection, whose proponents say “privacy is dead,” while meaning, “I would be richer if your privacy were dead.”
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My new Guardian column, Forget Apple’s fight with the FBI – our privacy catastrophe has only just begun, explains how surveillance advocates have changed their arguments: 20 years ago, they argued that the lack of commercial success for privacy tools showed that the public didn’t mind surveillance; today, they dismiss Apple’s use of cryptographic tools as a “marketing stunt” and treat the proportionality of surveillance as a settled question.
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/ / Little Brother, News



Derek Bruff teaches a first-year college writing seminar in mathematics, an unusual kind of course that covers a lot of ground, and uses a novel as some of its instructional material — specifically, my novel Little Brother.
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