Recapturing Control of Our Own Technology and Communications
The MIT Press
Part manifesto and part practical guide, Permission Taken is Dan Gillmor’s account of his journey away from using proprietary systems toward using free, open source ones as much as possible. An early technology booster, he made that shift after becoming increasingly alarmed by the way his information was being used by technology companies. It is no secret that we are regularly ceding control of vast swaths of data about ourselves, assuming that is the price we pay to be connected.
In Permission Taken, Dan explains the realities of modern computing and communications: the insecurities that have been built into the infrastructure, and the tradeoffs we all make when we decide what to use. These choices are often subtle, but they are almost always based on an illusion of “free” products or services. Truly free products and services do exist, but they involve tradeoffs of different kinds, typically in the amount of time we want to devote to making them work right.
He also explains the various options and methods that will help us recapture some privacy and freedom in our use of technology. From tactics for becoming more secure on any computing platform to the steps to take to wean oneself off proprietary platforms and onto ones that make your liberty a foundation principle, he takes readers through the process step by step.
Dan’s claim that we can decide whether or not to grant permission is both timely and essential.