Little Brother: Protect Your Privacy To Protect Your Freedom

Cory Doctorow: Little BrotherPrivacy isn’t usually the most sexy topic. At least it isn’t usually treated that way, which is a shame. All the better: Cory Doctorow’s latest novel Little Brother (download for free, buy on Amazon) more than makes up: Little Brother is a passionate & compelling rant against government surveillance, and a rally cry to protect our privacy. More importantly, it makes a strong case for why replacing privacy with surveillance won’t protect our freedom and safety but destroy both.

Little Brother is, technically, aimed at young adults, but don’t let that put you off. (It certainly didn’t stop me!)

I just devoured the whole novel in a single swoop on my train ride back to Berlin, and it’s an absolute page-turner. Also, it’s so angry it’ll make you see your day-to-day world just that little differently, like it just inserted a dash of ARG (Alternate Reality Game) into your daily life.

Neat side feature: Instructibles explains how to built all the neat hacks and tools brought up in the novel.

Go hack away!

Here’s a few links to get started, largely taken from the Little Brother’s Afterword:



  • Reading

    • Reporters Without Borders: Freedom of the press & of expression is the basis for a stable, working, living democracy. Reporters Without Borders watch the freedom of press worldwide.
    • Center for Citizen Media. Call it citizen media, participatory journalism, or simply blogging: Don’t leave it to commercial media to report on abuse by authorities.
    • The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). THE fighters for our digital rights. If you have a few bucks to donate, this would be a good place.
    • An anonymous place to post confidential information. Think dissidents and whistleblowers.
    • For German speakers: Newspaper just started a new blog about privacy issues called CTRL. Full disclosure: I’m friends with one of the authors of CTRL.

  • Hacking

    • TOR, The Onion Router, allows for anonymous surfing. You really want that.
    • gpg encrypts your email. Like, pretty much unbreakable.