The Red Web: The Struggle Between Russia's Digital Dictators and the New Online Revolutionaries

A Library Journal Best Book of 2015A NPR Great Read of 2015The Internet in Russia is either the most efficient totalitarian tool or the device by which totalitarianism will be overthrown Perhaps both.On the eighth floor of an ordinary looking building in an otherwise residential district of southwest Moscow, in a room occupied by the Federal Security Service FSB , is a bA Library Journal Best Book of 2015A NPR Great Read of 2015The Internet in Russia is either the most efficient totalitarian tool or the device by which totalitarianism will be overthrown Perhaps both.On the eighth floor of an ordinary looking building in an otherwise residential district of southwest Moscow, in a room occupied by the Federal Security Service FSB , is a box the size of a VHS player marked SORM The Russian government s front line in the battle for the future of the Internet, SORM is the world s most intrusive listening device, monitoring e mails, Internet usage, Skype, and all social networks.But for every hacker subcontracted by the FSB to interfere with Russia s antagonists abroad such as those who, in a massive denial of service attack, overwhelmed the entire Internet in neighboring Estonia there is a radical or an opportunist who is using the web to chip away at the power of the state at home.Drawing from scores of interviews personally conducted with numerous prominent officials in the Ministry of Communications and web savvy activists challenging the state, Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan peel back the history of advanced surveillance systems in Russia From research laboratories in Soviet era labor camps, to the legalization of government monitoring of all telephone and Internet communications in the 1990s, to the present day, their incisive and alarming investigation into the Kremlin s massive online surveillance state exposes just how easily a free global exchange can be coerced into becoming a tool of repression and geopolitical warfare Dissidents, oligarchs, and some of the world s most dangerous hackers collide in the uniquely Russian virtual world of The Red Web.
The Red Web The Struggle Between Russia s Digital Dictators and the New Online Revolutionaries A Library Journal Best Book of A NPR Great Read of The Internet in Russia is either the most efficient totalitarian tool or the device by which totalitarianism will be overthrown Perhaps both

  • Title: The Red Web: The Struggle Between Russia's Digital Dictators and the New Online Revolutionaries
  • Author: Andrei Soldatov Irina Borogan
  • ISBN: 9781610395731
  • Page: 268
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “The Red Web: The Struggle Between Russia's Digital Dictators and the New Online Revolutionaries”

    1. Phenomenal book, a must-read if you're interested in the Russian internet. Soldatov & Borogan give an extensive and very readable account of the history of RuNet and current developments. The newest edition also includes an important chapter on the DNC hack, so it's as relevant as ever.

    2. I do not understand the appeal of e-books. Sure, I’ve used reference PDFs on my laptop and browsed documents on my phone, but a tablet or e-reading device? You have to charge it; It cannot be dropped; It cannot get wet. It seems like the convenience of having a lot of books in a small space, books that are always available, is far outweighed by the hassles of yet another electronic albatross. Environmentally, an e-reader is a consumptive device requiring electricity borne likely from fossil fu [...]

    3. This book records the history of surveillance technology from the Soviet era to present-day Russia, which means it was probably the most important book I read all year. Unfortunately, most of the technical parts went right over my head. I did get a few main points, though, and here they are: 1) The technology that developed after the fall of the Soviet Union has capacities that its leaders would have salivated over, so we can consider ourselves somewhat lucky, except that Putin and his inner cir [...]

    4. This book has been recently recommended as one of a handful of books to help us understand the complexities of the modern Russia we are intertwined with in these surreal times. A fascinating insider guide to the struggle against and acquiessance to the powers of a state that has never known true democracy. Modern Russia is the antipode to America in many ways and shows us what we could become if we are not vigilant. Although, in terms of digital surveillance, we are possibly not all that differe [...]

    5. An amazing description of how the Russian security services, resurrected in the years after the end of the Soviet Union, slowly and deliberately learned the power of the internet and came to use it effectively as a tool to undermine foreign enemies and domestic critics. Sewing division is an old Russian trick, but in the age of internet and social media the Putin regime has become the master manipulator. This book is a cautionary tale for those living in free societies.

    6. An important and timely book. There's so much that's revealing here, from the discussion of the relationship between Snowden/Wikileaks and the Kremlin; to the thoughtful examination of why engineers should be trained in ethics; to, critically, its explanation of Russian "information warfare." The authors explain that this concept, not to be confused with cyber warfare, "encompasses something political and menacing, including 'disinformation and tendentious information' that is spread to incite p [...]

    7. A well-researched story about Russia's quest to control informationA good written an nuanced storytelling worth of New Yorker with a distinct feel as well. Sometimes diluted by coverage of setting events like Maidan or else, the authors aims is to set the stage where russian security authorities carry on the legacy of fear and intimidation to control the information flow in the world of social networks and viral means.

    8. Great journalism that led you through the history of surveillance on the Internet and the political undertones of the movement. Wish it had had a bit more insight into the private business aspect of it. Really needed a better editor too, with many repetitive passages and unclear sentences that made it seem like it was cobbled together from essays instead of written as a proper book. Engaging though, and I learned quite a bit!

    9. Всё что касалось истории разработки и внедрения СОРМ, появления Интернета и освещения вопросов, связанных с попытками урегулирования отрасли, читать было безумно интересно. А вот описание известных протестных событий, представление о которых я имею, какое-то тусклое, хот [...]

    10. Excellent history of Russian telecom surveillance, with lots of discussion of Putin-era dissent repression and surveillance. Emphasizes tension between Putin's hierarchical worldview and horizontal world of emerging social networks. All in all a good tonic for the Russophobia that has colored much of the 2016 election.

    11. The Red Web by Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan is compelling and comprehensive history of the internet in Russia. Soldatov and Borogan are veteran investigative journalists who map out the ongoing struggle between oligarchs, dissidents, entrepreneurs, hackers, and spooks for Russian digital domination. This book unveils the complex interplay of technology and geopolitics, raising critical questions about civil rights, governance, and surveillance in a networked world.

    12. Very informative and as clear and understandable as is plausible, but probably only of interest to those intrinsically interested in the subject matter, which is naturally a little dry and in no way sexed up in the presentation. The author is a journalist's journalist and foremost concerned with accuracy, not gimmicks to grab your attention.

    13. Большая увесистая клюква. Путин зло и тиран, ФСБ это рассадник зла и лжи, террористы это боевики, ну, и, конечно, либеральные журналисты это святоч правды и единственные лучи света в мордоре. Единственная причина по которой книгу можно почитать, это история становления инте [...]

    14. Хотите потерять время и деньги ? Хотите услышать односторонний взгляд обиженых журналистов .Тогда смело покупайте и читайте эту книгу. Только не забудьте после чтения руки помыть

    15. Very interesting to learn how Russian espionage was started in the early days of the ainternet, and how the citizens worked around the communist regime to find their own presence on the web.

    16. Great ReadThis book is at once alarming and disarming. The history of information control in Russia is long and complex. The reach of the FSB is long, but also beyond its grasp.

    17. Менторский, пренебрежительный и полный личных обид тон Андрея, который явно является основным автором, на протяжении всей книги вызывает лёгкое раздражение. Налёт диссиденства, уверенности только в своей правоте, а также увлечённость главными героями российской "оппозиц [...]

    18. The stories and the experience that went into writing this book are fabulous; the two authors have a wealth of experience in working in Russia following the ins and outs of internet activism and policy. Perhaps because of this, the level of the detail in the book is incredibly intricate, and at times, I found the detail a little too much. I was interested in the book as someone knows very little about internet policy in Russia (and, in all honesty, much of what I learned is from Emily Parker's b [...]

    19. Years ago I studied the Soviet Union and I continue to have an interest in Russia even if it hasn't been an area of work specialization for more than decade. I think the main surprise of this book was now much description there was of the Soviet-era and early post-Soviet background for what is mostly a description of the present struggle between the Russian government and those who may have differing views to express online. It was a long read, but if someone is really interested in the topic, t [...]

    20. A fascinating record of the history of modern Russia as it reflected in the shifting balance between freedom of information and state surveillance. While the security apparatus was working on restoring its capabilities to control most of aspects of life in the country and beyond as they used to in the Soviet past, the Internet appeared to be particularly hard to tame. A lot of effort and technical skill was accumulated by the security agencies so that large scale covert surveillance operations b [...]

    21. С осени 2015 года в России стали сажать за критические посты в социальных сетях, но быстро выяснилось, что авторов этих постов вычисляли не с помощью СОРМ или мониторинговых систем, которые закупали спецслужбы. Жертвы сначала попали в черные списки местных управлений ФСБ и Ц [...]

    22. Finished this one a couple of days ago. Very interesting read about the history of Russian Internet, which is, of course, intertwined with the efforts of Russian intelligence services to control it (I wouldn't say they have succeeded, but they're going there). Very interesting insight from the book is that people who design the software or hardware do not even care about how their work would be used, which is, The book is not only about the Internet and KGB, the last part offers a very nice brie [...]

    23. This book documents the history of Russia's surveillance system development. It starts from the pre-Internet era, explains how the SORM system was developed, describes Russia's attempts to change Internet governance via ITU and ICANN, documents the Sochi Olympics surveillance efforts and didn't forget the story of Snowden getting an asylum at Russia. After reading so much about US surveillance and espionage efforts it was kind of refreshing and fascinating to read how Russia controls and eavesdr [...]

    24. Книга о политике. И о том, как средство свободного распространения информации - интернет, влияет на нее. От первого подключения в 1990 году СССР к интернету, но Сноудена и его укрытия в Москве. Больше о современной политике, поэтому что-то совсем нового не узнать. А вот хронолог [...]

    25. Interesting information more like a very long serialized newspaper article. I found the history interesting, but it's presented in a matter that is mostly of use to the Russian insiders, given the rapidly changing who's who. That said, I learned some things. Most relevant information for me was in the section on Ukraine and Maidan.

    26. A thorough, if slightly repetitive, overview of the development of Russian security services' ability to surveil the internet. It's informative, comprehensive, and easy to read and provides a framework to interpret ongoing events, in Russia and in others.

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