Shumeet Baluja’s novel The Silicon Jungle has received some exciting press this month. Claire Packham’s review at Significance Magazine offers a brief overview of the book, praising Baluja’s accessible approach to the importance of data protection on the internet:
The fundamental point [of the novel] remains clear – that the internet contains a wealth of information on almost every aspect of every part of the lives of a vast proportion of the world’s population. This is a level of personal information that has never before been available, and the potential, either for good or for bad, is endless.
In the Financial Times, contributing editor John Lloyd explores the mysterious world of cyber-hacking and “cybercrime” and questions why these issues are largely untroubling to the collective, “public” imagination of Americans. He mentions The Silicon Jungle as one of the only modern cybercrime novels, praising how Baluja dramatizes the issue:
Baluja illustrates well the obsessive nature of advanced internet work, where the huge banks of information to which Ubatoo/Google has access can be manipulated to produce intimate profiles on almost everything and everyone.
Lloyd, like Packham, is concerned about what books like The Silicon Jungle suggest: that the masses of information available on the internet will soon be used against us. As he quotes from the novel’s preface:
It is important to remind ourselves that the technology, policies and sheer enormity of the amount of personal detail amassed about all of us is new. It’s breathtaking. It’s unexpected. All of us, those who are being watched and those who are watching us are, quite literally, in uncharted territory.