This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends
A review of

This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends

The Cyberweapons Arms Race

Privacy? What Privacy?

by David Meyer

Nicole Perlroth offers a thrilling, educational and politically aware overview of the history and future of cyberattacks and data privacy.

Unless your background is in IT, you may think of digital security as an annoyance or as an intimidatingly impenetrable field of binary code and scary-smart cyberpunks. In this New York Times bestseller and winner of the 2021 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year award, journalist Nicole Perlroth argues that laypeople must understand the cyber threats facing America’s infrastructure, public safety, prosperity and civil rights. Perlroth’s engaging style and easy humor renders these complicated issues – and the reasons they matter – understandable. 

Here we were, entrusting our entire digital lives – passwords…banking records, credit cards… – to this mystery box, whose inner circuitry most of us would never vet, run by code written in a language most of us will never fully understand.Nicole Perlroth

Perlroth revels in the complexity and details of the cyberworld, yet her book takes on the authorial voice of an espionage thriller and keeps you riveted. Because she lives and works in Silicon Valley, her account occasionally suffers from a lack of input from the governmental agencies and personnel that make, she says, the crucial decisions. Thus at times, she seems an ultimate insider and at other times, a baffled outsider.

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