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The Internet Police

How Crime Went Online, and the Cops Followed

Nate Anderson (Author)


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

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 deputy 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.

Includes an afterword that details law enforcement's dramatic seizure of the online black market Silk Road.


Book Details

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

Endorsements & Reviews

“Excellent.” — Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

“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 Data and Goliath

“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

“No one can finish this book thinking the Internet remains a disorderly wasteland. The West is being tamed, if slowly…[Anderson's] storytelling is brisk and lucid, often pithy but never glib.” — Robert Kolker, New York Times Book Review

“[His] takes on landmark digital cases are valuable, colorfully drawn, primers…Anderson meticulously tracks the evolution of Internet policing.” — Publishers Weekly

“A nuanced study of crime on the Internet and how government and law enforcement agencies have been tackling it…A thought-provoking primer on the state of cybercrime.” — Kirkus Reviews

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