By Robert Hackett
January 13, 2018

Good afternoon, Cyber Saturday readers.

I’m kicking off the new year with a first: I wrote the introduction to an upcoming book about “the unseen internet” published by Fortune’s sister TIME. This special edition, which covers hacking, cyberespionage, digital security, and more, goes on sale next week. You can preorder a copy here.

In lieu of today’s essay, I’ve produced a brief excerpt of the introduction—abridged for this newsletter—below.

Just as the foundations for what would become the internet were being laid within his division of the RAND Corporation in 1967, Willis Ware sounded a note of alarm. “Great quantities of private information are being accumulated in computer files,” one of the world’s earliest computing pioneers and an eventual National Security Agency adviser warned in a paper, “and the incentives to penetrate the safeguards to privacy are bound to increase.”

Ware was right. Half a century later, the world faces a dawning realization that its enthusiasm for connection has created complications. Bluntly, it has put us all in danger. Our identities, our finances, our families, our homes—nearly everything anchored in the physical world has some point of entry that opens it up to attack through the electronic ether.

We often talk about cybersecurity, but the reality is more accurately described by the phrase’s antithesis: cyber-insecurity. In the pages that follow, we lay out the many invisible forces at work that are shaping this storm. Though the water may look calm on the surface, underneath a riptide is readying to suck your personal information—and then some—out to sea. Staying high and dry isn’t an option unless you plan to live without access to the internet, so you’d better learn to swim.

This special edition aims to help you do just that.

If you’re interested in learning more about the book, you can read this series of tweets I posted Thursday, or check out its page on Amazon.

Enjoy the long weekend—and stay safe.

Robert Hackett


Welcome to the Cyber Saturday edition of Data Sheet, Fortune’s daily tech newsletter. Fortune reporter Robert Hackett here. You may reach Robert Hackett via Twitter, Cryptocat, Jabber (see OTR fingerprint on my, PGP encrypted email (see public key on my, Wickr, Signal, or however you (securely) prefer. Feedback welcome.


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