Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother

Book Cover
Book Cover

This is a must-read for technology and Internet geeks like yours truly.

Little Brother is written by Cory Doctorow, co-editor of Boing Boing, one of the world’s most popular group blog. Cory is an activist in favour of liberalising copyright laws and a proponent of the Creative Commons organization (Cory actually put up the entire e-book version of Little Brother for free download HERE!).

As a result, common themes seen in his works such as digital rights management, file sharing and leftist politics were weaved into the storyline of Little Brother.

In summary, the fiction book details the story of cyber-rebel, Marcus in his fight against an oppressive state.

Marcus is only seventeen, but he figures he already knows how the state system works and how to work the system for himself. Attuned to the networked world, Marcus has no trouble outwitting his high school’s intrusive surveillance systems as well as other state surveillance apparatus.

However, Marcus’s whole world changed when he finds he and his friends caught up in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew were arrested and whisked away to a secret prison where there were interrogated as terror suspects.

When he was finally released, Marcus discovers his city had became a police state where citizens are all treated like potential terrorists. That is the point where Marcus decided to take on the government. Thus the quest began where the geeks are the one who save the world, not the macho men.

Story aside, the book provides many insights on Internet-era civil rights that I were not aware of previously. There were also many sharp jabs made at excessive state surveillence – something that is happening worldwide, post-Semptember 11.

If you are someone into anti-establishment literature, David vs Goliath storyline, granted, with a technological twist, Little Brother will be ideal for you. 🙂

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