Be afraid, be very afraid… crime’s coming to get ya! Or it already has… depending on how you look at things.
Future Crimes is a wide-ranging and almost all-encompassing look at the types of crime which are already taking over a world where the internet is increasingly becoming part of everything we see around us. One of the author’s main points of contentions concerns the Internet of Things (IOT) – where every day objects, appliances, vehicles and other things are connected to the internet, and are therefore hackable or exploitable. There are so many things – potential threats – which we are inviting into our homes without necessarily thinking about the potential consequences which might result.
Goodman does a fair job of covering many of the crimes which are bound to face the world in the future, and spends a great deal of time discussing how the general public are blithely allowing it to happen. Approximately a third of the book is given over to the dangers posed by Big Data, and how through our use of Facebook and other social media sites, phone apps, and other convenient free products, are allowing the use and misuse of our personal information for the sake of a little convenience.
The author also spends a good deal of time critiquing other countries’ use of offensive cyber warfare, and how this brings new threats to business and national security. While the book is largely America-centric, it does seem to ignore, or minimise much of the offensive capabilities that the US is deploying against the world.
While this is certainly an instructive look at the potential dangers which lie in wait for an unsuspecting world, I feel like the author has something of an agenda to push in drumming up fear. He does, however, offer some healthy and helpful advice for steps that the public can take to protect themselves from becoming victims of future crime.
At the end of the book, Goodman proposes that the world recreate the Manhattan Project to develop solutions for the security problems of the future. While I find his proposal admirable, I think one must take lessons from the past, and recognise that the Manhattan Project ultimately was a major kickstarter for the nuclear arms race, and the cold war.
To say that this book is comprehensive would be an understatement. It is a weighty tome, and can be quite repetitive if the author gets on one of his hobby horses.This is probably not a book with mass-market appeal, but should be given due consideration by people working in internet security, and public policy.