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October 2014
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My husband works on DNS servers for a living, while I usually go glassy-eyed when the term “DNS” is thrown around in conversation.  Generally, he and I read very different books about very different topics.  So imagine my surprise when the YA fiction book I reserve at the library spent 3 pages chronicling the history of the Domain Name Service (DNS.)  And it was actually kind of interesting!

Doctorow’s novel tells the story of Marcus, a San Francisco hacker, who is accused of helping to mastermind a terrorist attack on his own city.  When the accusations cannot be proven, he is released, but the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) vows that they will be watching him.  And they do.  His computer, phone, purchases, home, school and travels are all being monitored.  With its power unchecked, the corrupt DHS intrudes more and more into the lives of ordinary Americans, all in the name of “National Security.”  Marcus vows to fight back and reclaim the freedoms that our Constitution guarantees.  While I didn’t always appreciate the plugs for the ACLU, the story itself was interesting, if a bit technical for me at times.

As I was discussing the book with my husband, I mentioned how unrealistic I thought it was that the government could seize so much power so quickly.  He pointed out how much power our current administration has seized in recent months, all in the name of “Financial Crisis.”  Good point.  Maybe we should start reading more books in common.