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The Internet Police

How Crime Went Online, and the Cops Followed

Nate Anderson (Author)

Overview | Formats

Chaos and order clash in this riveting exploration of crime and punishment on the Internet.

With a new afterword that brings the book's stories up to date, including law enforcement's dramatic seizure of the online black market Silk Road.

Once considered a borderless and chaotic virtual landscape, the Internet is now home to the forces of international law and order. It’s not just computer hackers and cyber crooks who lurk in the dark corners of the Web—the cops are there, too.

In The Internet Police, Ars Technica editor Nate Anderson takes readers on a behind-the-screens tour of landmark cybercrime cases, revealing how criminals continue to find digital and legal loopholes even as police hurry to cinch them closed. From the Cleveland man whose “natural male enhancement” pill inadvertently protected the privacy of your e-mail to the Russian spam king who ended up in a Milwaukee jail to the Australian arrest that ultimately led to the breakup of the largest child pornography ring in the United States, Anderson draws on interviews, court documents, and law-enforcement reports to reconstruct accounts of how online policing actually works. Questions of online crime are as complex and interconnected as the Internet itself. With each episode in The Internet Police, Anderson shows the dark side of online spaces—but also how dystopian a fully “ordered” alternative would be.


Book Details

  • Paperback
  • August 2014
  • ISBN 978-0-393-34945-0
  • 5.6 × 8.3 in / 320 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

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  1. Book CoverThe Internet Police: How Crime Went Online, and the Cops Followed


Endorsements & Reviews

“A thought-provoking primer on the state of cybercrime.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Anderson takes readers into the Wild West of the digital world.” — Publishers Weekly

“As soon as the Internet turned mainstream, a new breed of criminal appeared. The police, who were trained on Agatha Christie novels, took about a decade to catch up. This entertaining and informative book tells their story.” — Bruce Schneier, author of Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust Society Needs to Thrive

“Nate Anderson shows where the Internet's flourishing underworld meets international law enforcement. From stories of good guys, bad guys, and people that can't be pigeonholed, Nate gives the background to tomorrow's headlines.” — Cliff Stoll, author of The Cuckoo's Egg and High Tech Heretic

“A brisk, eminently readable, and important history of the relationship between law, law enforcement, and the net, and as you'd expect, it's excellent. Anderson's reporting career has exposed him to innumerable cases of fascinating and horrifying networked shenanigans, and he cherry-picks the most interesting stories to tell, and tells them well, and uses each one to paint a broader picture of how the attempt to impose law and lawfulness on the Internet has unfolded at every turn.” — Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

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