Future Crimes: A Journey to the Dark Side of Technology – and How to Survive It by Marc Goodman - review by Heather Brooke

Heather Brooke

What the Refrigerator Saw

Future Crimes: A Journey to the Dark Side of Technology – and How to Survive It

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Bantam Press 452pp £20 order from our bookshop
 

It’s his editor I feel sorry for. ‘She worked weekends and nights, and even missed family gatherings in the cause of this book,’ says Marc Goodman. However, despite her overtime, Future Crimes remains a testament to turgid prose. The title is promising enough and there are some interesting and intriguing ideas about the way crime will morph as it adapts to the digital age. But a tougher editor would have pared this book down by half.

Most future crimes, according to Goodman, will involve hacking – hacking GPS, hacking software and hardware, hacking the systems that computers use to connect to other devices and the internet, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, radio-frequency identification and near-field communication. As we computerise cars, they’ll be hacked. Implantable medical devices will be hacked through insecure communications systems.

The most informative and thoughtful part of Future Crimes discusses our race towards the Internet of Things. Numerous devices, from thermostats to fridges, will soon be connected, insecurely, to the internet. This presents new dangers: ‘While connecting everything to a global Internet of Things may indeed have tremendous value, connecting everything insecurely does not. Before we add billions of hackable things and communicate with hackable data transmission protocols, important questions

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