The Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones-Confronting A New Age of Threat

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Two legal scholars explore the security and political implications of revolutionary new technologies from drones to 3-D printers, and explain how governments must adapt to our brave new world of dispersed threats.
From drone warfare in the Middle East to digital spying by the National Security Agency, the U.S. government has harnessed the power of cutting-edge technology to awesome effect. But what happens when ordinary people have the same tools at their fingertips? Advances in cybertechnology, biotechnology, and robotics mean that more people than ever before have access to potentially dangerous technologies-from drones to computer networks and biological agents-which could be used to attack states and private citizens alike.
In The Future of Violence, law and security experts Benjamin Wittes and Gabriella Blum detail the myriad possibilities, challenges, and enormous risks present in the modern world, and argue that if our national governments can no longer adequately protect us from harm, they will lose their legitimacy. Consequently, governments, companies, and citizens must rethink their security efforts to protect lives and liberty. In this brave new world where many little brothers are as menacing as any Big Brother, safeguarding our liberty and privacy may require strong domestic and international surveillance and regulatory controls. Maintaining security in this world where anyone can attack anyone requires a global perspective, with more multinational forces and greater action to protect (and protect against) weaker states who do not yet have the capability to police their own people. Drawing on political thinkers from Thomas Hobbes to the Founders and beyond, Wittes and Blum show that, despite recent protestations to the contrary, security and liberty are mutually supportive, and that we must embrace one to ensure the other.

The Future of Violence is at once an introduction to our emerging world--one in which students can print guns with 3-D printers and scientists' manipulations of viruses can be recreated and unleashed by ordinary people--and an authoritative blueprint for how government must adapt in order to survive and protect us.

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About the author

Benjamin Wittes is a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and the editor-in-chief of Lawfare. He lives in Washington, D.C.
Gabriella Blum is the Rita E. Hauser Professor of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law at Harvard Law School. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Basic Books
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Published on
Mar 10, 2015
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9780465056705
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / International Relations / General
Political Science / Security (National & International)
Political Science / Terrorism
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Since 2001, the United States has created or reorganized more than two counterterrorism organizations for every apprehension it has made of Islamists apparently planning to commit terrorism within the country. Central to this massive enterprise is what the FBI frequently calls "ghost-chasing"-the efforts by police and intelligence agencies to follow up on over ten million tips. Less than one alarm in 10,000 fails to be false-the rest all point to ghosts. And the vast majority of the leads deemed to be productive have led to terrorist enterprises that are either trivial or at most aspirational. As John Mueller and Mark G. Stewart suggest in Chasing Ghosts, it is often an exercise in dueling delusions: an extremist has delusions about changing the world by blowing something up, and the authorities have delusions that he might actually be able to overcome his patent inadequacies to do so. Chasing Ghosts systematically examines this expensive, exhausting, bewildering, chaotic, and paranoia-inducing process. It evaluates the counterterrorism efforts of the FBI, the National Security Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, and local policing agencies. In addition, it draws from a rich set of case studies to appraise the capacities of the terrorist "adversary" and to scrutinize "the myth of the mastermind." Mueller and Stewart also look closely at public opinion, a key driving force in counterterrorism efforts. The chance that an American will be killed by a terrorist within the country is about one in four million per year under present conditions. However, poll data suggest that, although over a trillion dollars has been spent on domestic counterterrorism since 2001, Americans say they do not feel safer. No defense of civil liberties is likely to be effective as long as people and officials continue to believe that the threat from terrorism is massive, even existential. The book does not argue that there is nothing for the ghost-chasers to find-the terrorist "adversary" is real and does exist. The question that is central to the exercise-but one the ghost-chasers never really probe-is an important and rather straight-forward one: is the chase worth the effort? Or is it excessive given the danger that terrorism actually presents? As Chasing Ghosts shows in vivid detail, standard evaluative procedures suggest that the costs often far outweigh the benefits.
With the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the threat of international terrorism – a threat to peace and stability – became evident to the world.Even though this event was not directed against European Union member states, it triggered the expansion of common anti-terrorist laws and policies. This cooperation aimed at fighting terrorism has led to the introduction of legal instruments that do not comply with international and European human rights law. Despite this drastic shift, the question in how far the European Union abides by human rights law in its fight against terrorism has rarely been discussed so far. Irina Wiegand looks exactly at this question. Her book gives extensive background information and yet has high scholarly value. It offers a general introduction on terrorism and an overview of today's legal framework with regard to terrorism and looks at the European Union's responses to terrorism. The main focus of the book is then on the analysis of these responses in the light of human rights law. This scrutiny provides the background of international and regional human rights legislation and continues with the analysis of the current legal practice of the European Union and the European Courts.If you want to know why we cannot agree on the definition of the term 'terrorism', whether states can claim the right of self-defense after a terrorist attack, how the European anti-terrorist legislation developed over time, and whether the European Union violates certain human rights conventions, this book is a must-read for you.
“Bruce Schneier’s amazing book is the best overview of privacy and security ever written.”—Clay Shirky

“Bruce Schneier’s amazing book is the best overview of privacy and security ever written.”—Clay Shirky

Your cell phone provider tracks your location and knows who’s with you. Your online and in-store purchasing patterns are recorded, and reveal if you're unemployed, sick, or pregnant. Your e-mails and texts expose your intimate and casual friends. Google knows what you’re thinking because it saves your private searches. Facebook can determine your sexual orientation without you ever mentioning it.

The powers that surveil us do more than simply store this information. Corporations use surveillance to manipulate not only the news articles and advertisements we each see, but also the prices we’re offered. Governments use surveillance to discriminate, censor, chill free speech, and put people in danger worldwide. And both sides share this information with each other or, even worse, lose it to cybercriminals in huge data breaches.

Much of this is voluntary: we cooperate with corporate surveillance because it promises us convenience, and we submit to government surveillance because it promises us protection. The result is a mass surveillance society of our own making. But have we given up more than we’ve gained? In Data and Goliath, security expert Bruce Schneier offers another path, one that values both security and privacy. He brings his bestseller up-to-date with a new preface covering the latest developments, and then shows us exactly what we can do to reform government surveillance programs, shake up surveillance-based business models, and protect our individual privacy. You'll never look at your phone, your computer, your credit cards, or even your car in the same way again.

Now the inspiration for the CBS Television drama, "The Unit."

Delta Force. They are the U.S. Army's most elite top-secret strike force. They dominate the modern battlefield, but you won't hear about their heroics on CNN. No headlines can reveal their top-secret missions, and no book has ever taken readers inside—until now. Here, a founding member of Delta Force takes us behind the veil of secrecy and into the action-to reveal the never-before-told story of 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-D (Delta Force).

He is a master of espionage, trained to take on hijackers, terrorists, hostage takers, and enemy armies. He can deploy by parachute or arrive by commercial aircraft. Survive alone in hostile cities. Speak foreign languages fluently. Strike at enemy targets with stunning swiftness and extraordinary teamwork. He is the ultimate modern warrior: the Delta Force Operator.

In this dramatic behind-the-scenes chronicle, Eric Haney, one of the founding members of Delta Force, takes us inside this legendary counterterrorist unit. Here, for the first time, are details of the grueling selection process—designed to break the strongest of men—that singles out the best of the best: the Delta Force Operator.

With heart-stopping immediacy, Haney tells what it's really like to enter a hostage-held airplane. And from his days in Beirut, Haney tells an unforgettable tale of bodyguards and bombs, of a day-to-day life of madness and beauty, and of how he and a teammate are called on to kill two gunmen targeting U.S. Marines at the Beirut airport. As part of the team sent to rescue American hostages in Tehran, Haney offers a first-person description of that failed mission that is a chilling, compelling account of a bold maneuver undone by chance—and a few fatal mistakes.

From fighting guerrilla warfare in Honduras to rescuing missionaries in Sudan and leading the way onto the island of Grenada, Eric Haney captures the daring and discipline that distinguish the men of Delta Force. Inside Delta Force brings honor to these singular men while it puts us in the middle of action that is sudden, frightening, and nonstop around the world.
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