Little Brother

By Cory Doctorow

4/5: Good intro to mass surveilance for a young audience

Young adult novel following a teenager in San Francisco after a terror attack. The government introduced mass surveilance policies and the book explores the effects on the people and a group of young hacker rebels that refuse to accept it.

  • Good introduction to the themes of mass surveilance for a young audience.
  • Including common arguments for (« I have nothing to hide » and « it’s to make us safe »).
  • Demonstrates how easy it is to abuse. Both by authorities overstepping their power and by people knowing how to abuse the system.
  • All tech concepts introduced (crypto, keyloggers, VPN…) are real.
  • « Rebellious teenager vs the adult world » makes it captivating to read.
  • Afterwords by security researchers inviting the readers to get a carreer in tech.
  • It was fun reading something set in SF after having been there.

  • Very American centered (mentions the constitution, patriot act)
  • Didn’t like the relationship/sex parts. I guess it is more compelling to the young audience.