Barefoot Into Cyberspace

Wendy M Grossman reviews Becky Hogge’s new book Barefoot Into Cyberspace for ZDnet:

Can we keep the internet open and free, a democratic medium for the rest of us? In studying this question, Becky Hogge’s flash-published Barefoot Into Cyberspace joins Jonathan Zittrain’s The Future of the Internet — and How to Stop It (2009) and Tim Wu’s The Master Switch (and, to some extent, my own 1997 book, net.wars).

A significant difference: Wu and Zittrain are both academic lawyers. Hogge, by contrast, is a journalist and former director of the Open Rights Group. Where Wu and Zittrain look at the forces gathering to control the Net, Hogge goes questing for the radical hackers who might block them.

Her first and last stops are the Chaos Computer Club’s annual conferences in 2009 and 2010. In between, while charting the disruptive emergence of Wikileaks, she interviews many sources, including Wikileaker-in-chief Julian Assange and Global Voices founder Ethan Zuckerman. Her four most important guides through this landscape are: Stewart Brand; Cory Doctorow, the science fiction writer, BoingBoing blogger and copyfighter; Phil Booth, the former executive director of No2ID; and, most of all, Rop Gonggrijp, one of four co-founders of the Dutch ISP XS4ALL.

The web page for the book is here. Becky blogs about her book here.