Interview with Michael J. Weber, author of "Invasion of Privacy"
by Mirko Zorz - Monday, 8 December 2003.
I'm not paranoid because I know what's coming. The future is Digital Rights Management! Technology will remain in a logjam until Silicon Valley can protect Hollywood's intellectual property. That spells proprietary security schemes like Apple's MPEG-4 Advanced Audio Coding and Microsoft's Palladium or whatever they call it. My fear is that Outlook won't open an e-mail attachment one day because my version of Word is out of date or MusicMatch won't play a song downloaded from iTunes. Thank God I'm not alone. Hackers and the security community are all over this issue! That's the ecology of technology. In and of itself DRM is a neutral phenomenon, neither good nor bad. The greatest threat to technology today is the gullibility of average computer users. They're the reason I wrote "Invasion of Privacy".

On a more serious note I'm very concerned about the threat of cyber-terrorism. Look no further than the great Power Grid Failure of 2003. If that wasn't a perfect dry run for terrorists it certainly could have been. President Bush called it a wake-up call. Too bad Bush didn't heed Richard Clarke, his cyber-security czar, when Clarke expressed concern about the vulnerability of the North American power grid in 2002. The Bush Administration has given lip service to Homeland Security and the fight against terrorism while waging a private war in Iraq for its own personal reasons. That's the biggest threat to privacy, security, and freedom, I know of!

What are your future plans? Any exciting new projects?

I'm currently writing a screenplay for a well-know director as a change of pace. It's called The Virgin Hitman and is sort of a cross between Get Shorty meets Some Like It Hot. As for books, I'm toying with the idea of expanding a chapter in Invasion of Privacy called The "Cheap Toothpick" Syndrome. It's based on a formula I discovered that calculates the cost of mediocrity. Your audience can read The "Cheap Toothpick" Syndrome and other chapters on the "Invasion of Privacy" website.

This book is about people; people who do good and evil things with technology, people who are victims of technology, and victims who become avengers by turning the tables on the technology that victimizes them.

You'll meet Steve Kirsch, a Silicon Valley multimillionaire who sued the company that inundated him with junk faxes for $2.2 trillion dollars. You'll meet Jason Eric Smith, a struggling college student who set up a sting worthy of Paul Newman and Robert Redford when a con artist ripped-off his Apple PowerBook in an eBay auction.

I sought input from leading experts in the fields of computer security and privacy like George Kurtz, Steve Gibson, Ron Kessler, and Michael Froomkin to provide you with practical steps you can take to protect your privacy, your personal information, and yourself.


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