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Homework Help: Solved 191659

The issues of espionage, warfare and the related concerns regarding the safety of civilians have always been the reason for concern for the leaders of major states. However, in the era of digital revolution and the introduction of new technology, the threat of secret governmental information leakage has become too tangible to ignore it. In his recent book, America the vulnerable: Inside the new threat matrix of digital espionage, crime, and warfare, Joel Brenner evaluates the scale of jeopardy that new media and technology has put the United States under. To be more exact, Brenner devotes the introduction of his book to his experience, as an anti-trust prosecutor, outlining the key problems with the U.S. security, such as carelessness towards data encryption (Brenner, 2011, 12). Afterwards, Brenner proceeds with outlining the major problems of the U.S. security in the XXI century, defining the key “trapdoors” (Brenner, 2011, 13), through which information leakage may occur and making it obvious that states no longer need human spies – instead, technology has become the key tool for secret information acquisition. As Brenner continues his narration, he touches upon major educational and business institutions, making it obvious that the same security issues persist on all levels of social, political and economic life. Although, combined with the present-day U.S. policies in terms of media and state security, as well as the dangers that new technologies pose to America, make the USA admittedly more vulnerable, new media also provides a number of opportunities for the United States in terms of data safety, which levels the playfield and means that, to win this battle, the U.S. will have to learn to use the digital data for security purposes. For an average U.S. citizen, who has little idea of how state security works and is perfectly certain about his/her own security, the book is definitely an eye-opener. Indeed, living in the realm of information society had been quite an alluring idea for most of the residents of the USA up until Brenner burst their bubbles by revealing the helplessness of the U.S. security in front of such problems as information leakage, hacking, harmful actions of corporate insiders, etc. (Brenner, 2011, 49). America the vulnerable clearly leaves rather mixed feelings, such as the fear for one’s personal safety and the belief that the U.S. security services have potential. It would be wrong to claim that the book has a tremendous shock value or a huge alarming effect; after all, some of the stylistic choices made by the author indicate that he intended for the whistle-blowing elements of the book to be the key wow factors and the main means to trick people into paying attention to it. After all, the book needed to be marketed to an average citizen. Making the audience feel as if the incompetence of the U.S. secret services has finally been unveiled and a major threat to America’s security has been revealed is clearly a part of the author’s and the publisher’s selling strategy. However, some of the facts that Brenner mentions admittedly deserve being aid closer attention to. Much to his credit, Brenner not only lists the weaknesses of the modern U.S. surveillance services in the era of high tech espionage, but also shows the evolution of the American intelligence: “A few years the assassins and surveillance teams would have vanished without a trace, but not this time” (Brenner, 2011, 274). Seeing how Brenner’s book was published in 2011, i.e., three years ago, it can be assumed that the information represented in it is fairly accurate, at least in terms of the opportunities that technology has opened in front of the American security services, as well as the multiple threats that it has posed to the latter. While Brenner admittedly offers a wide range of thrilling details, however, the information that he provides in America the vulnerable seems of little use of an average citizen, though. From the perspective of a common American dweller, the book is nothing but another adrenalin booster for those concerned about their privacy and a major reason for spawning numerous discussions regarding the current policy of the U.S. government. As for the book’s usefulness from an academic perspective, America the vulnerable definitely poses a few interesting questions, such as the new methods of using modern media and technology to the advantage of the American intelligence service. Therefore, some of the dilemmas raised in the book, such as the means to reach a compromise between privacy and transparency within the American society, are worth considering as topics for a major research. Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More Hence, it can be recommended that the link between new technology and safety issues should be explored better in further academic researches. The idea of incorporating the persistent historical dilemmas of the United States, such as “the rigidity of American doctrinal dualism” (Brenner, 2011, 219) together with modern concerns in an attempt to find a solution also seems to have a research potential. By far one of the most thought provoking books of 2011, Brenner’s America the vulnerable gives a lot of food for thoughts, reasons for concern and hope for major improvements of the U.S. citizens’ security. Reference List Brenner, J. (2011). America the vulnerable: Inside the new threat matrix of digital espionage, crime, and warfare. London, UK: Penguin Press HC. Web.


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