Obfuscation: A User’s Guide for Privacy and Protest

This book can only really be described as a manifesto. I don’t know what I was expecting really.

It starts by identifying and offering a broad survey of obfuscation methods. And while clearly focused on technology, it discussed other, offline obfuscation: chaff deployed from fighter planes, something the orb-weaving spider does, and even the museum climax scene in “The Thomas Crown Affair.” This, I found interesting.

But then the book took a left turn into…philosophy. It spends an inordinate amount of time talking about the philosophy of privacy and offered ethical justification to employ obfuscation. All I could think of throughout this entire section was, “No. One. Cares.”

And then the book ends. If you’re looking for a practical book, or even an interesting book, perhaps look elsewhere. If you want to deeply ponder the ethics of privacy, well, here you go.

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