Quotations Weblog

Review: Little Brother by Cory Docotorow

May 21st, 2008 by Laura Moncur in Literature

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow at Amazon.comI just finished reading Cory Doctorow’s new book, Little Brother. I thought I was paranoid before. I thought I had a healthy paranoia, but now I know I was sorely mistaken. NOW I’m REALLY paranoid.

I always knew that anyone could spy on me at any time. I never had an illusion of privacy. That’s probably why I’m so comfortable writing about every facet of my life on the Internet. I never had any privacy to begin with, so I don’t really have a problem telling my side of the story.

My sense of security used to lie with the idea that there is safety in numbers. There are SO many people out there in the world that it would take the CIA or the Department of Homeland Security or the Ministry of Trust or whatever, too much manpower to watch everyone. There is just too much data out there for the government to spy on me, so I felt safe.

Well, all that data is EXACTLY what could be used to spy on me. Using the same technology that filters out spam from my email, the government could look for anomalies. Anything that is out of the ordinary could be flagged by a computer and then the goons could swoop in and watch me in person.

THAT is exactly what happens in Little Brother. Our hero, Marcus Yallow, was in the wrong place at the wrong time and suddenly his innocence didn’t matter anymore.

The scariest part of this book for me was how Marcus’ father reacted to the whole incident. His father had been part of the fight for equality and to end the Vietnam war in the sixties, but after seeing the terrorism, he bends over backward to allow our liberties to be taken away. I have seen the same with my own mother, who was a staunch Democrat all during my childhood. To see her agree with the Republican party line right now is a mirror to this world of fiction that makes me sad and scared.

I found a few really good quotes in this book:

As with every good book, I started reading Little Brother and found myself, hours later, exhausted and wanting to read more. Give yourself a good weekend to burn through this book with no other obligations to get in the way because you won’t want to stop reading.

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