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

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

Title:The Red Web: The Struggle Between Russia's Digital Dictators and the New Online Revolutionaries
ISBN:9781610395731
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:384 pages

A Library Journal Best Book of 2015
A NPR Great Read of 2015

The 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 Reviews

  • Chris C

    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 e...

  • Bob

    Russia: The place Edward Snowden fled to because the US is too aggressive with internal spying? ...

  • David Dinaburg

    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 droppe...

  • Kressel Housman

    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 tech...

  • bibliotekker Holman

    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 g...

  • Jared

    “This is not a phone conversation.” —a Russian expression meaning a wish to discuss something in person because somebody else might be listeningORIGINS- Kuchino...became the KGB’s main researc...

  • Chad Foster

    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 ef...

  • Martin Lowery

    I enjoyed parts of this book, while a larger percentage was irrelevant to me as the reader. Written by Russian investigative journalists, it's really a book written by Russiand for Russians. Reading t...

  • Sasha

    This book is phenomenal. As I said when I reviewed The New Nobility, Borogan and Soldatov are hero-geniuses, I hope they are never murdered or jailed, and I don't understand how they have the access t...

  • Sarah

    I really enjoyed this book a lot and found it to be extremely informative. I highly recommend reading it!...