Dragnet Nation Book Summary - Dragnet Nation Book explained in key points

Dragnet Nation summary

Julia Angwin

A Quest for Privacy, Security and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance

4.4 (23 ratings)
15 mins
Table of Contents

    Dragnet Nation
    Summary of 8 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 8

    You’re not paranoid, you’re right: We live in a world where someone is always watching us.

    The threat of espionage was a concern once limited to heads of state – but now, each one of us should always wonder if someone, somewhere, is spying on us.

    New technology has changed the rules of the game. The ubiquity of computers has made it easier to gather information at little cost. Before this, tracking was simply too expensive – just imagine how much it would cost to have a private investigator tail a subject for months, for a few bits of trivial information.

    Thus governments kept just a few data points, such as birth or marriage records, property deeds or death certificates. Companies only had access to your information once you purchased an item or filled out a contract.

    Within the past ten years, however, the price to store data has fallen over 300 percent. Now it is cheaper than ever for governments and companies to keep our personal records.

    Thanks to Edward Snowden – the whistleblower who leaked information in 2013 on the activities of the U.S. National Security Agency – we know institutions can and do gather a lot of data. Though the NSA is mandated only to intercept foreign communications, Snowden’s documents revealed that the agency also collects phone records and online information of U.S. citizens.

    Yet the NSA isn’t the only agency playing this game; American local and state governments also are involved in surveillance. Some agencies use automated car license readers, for example, to help track and analyze citizens’ movements.

    Companies are also involved. Cell phone companies such as AT&T and Verizon sell information on your physical location to data brokers; advertisers follow you online. Mall owners can also track how you browse from shop to shop, and some retailers now use facial recognition to remember who you are and what you’ve purchased.

    Should you be concerned about surveillance? The next blink will answer this very question.

    Want to see all full key ideas from Dragnet Nation?

    Key ideas in Dragnet Nation

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Dragnet Nation about?

    Dragnet Nation details the ways in which governments and corporations can gather vast amounts of your personal data and how this affects you. The book explains how easily such sensitive data can be abused, and that ultimately, such practices lead to a loss of freedom for all of us.

    Best quote from Dragnet Nation

    We are constantly being asked to give up privacy in the name of security.

    —Julia Angwin
    example alt text

    Who should read Dragnet Nation?

    • Anyone who wants to protect their privacy online
    • Anyone who does not think that data mining and privacy are a big deal
    • Anyone interested in how personal data is collected by governments and corporations

    About the Author

    Julia Angwin is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and investigative journalist for independent news organization ProPublica. She is the author of the book Stealing MySpace, charting the creation and rise of social media site MySpace, and was formerly a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal.

    Categories with Dragnet Nation

    Books like Dragnet Nation

    People ❤️ Blinkist
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    28 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial