9,807 book reviews and counting...

Dark Mirror: Edward Snowden and the Surveillance State Reviews

Dark Mirror: Edward Snowden and the Surveillance State by Barton Gellman

Dark Mirror: Edward Snowden and the Surveillance State

Barton Gellman

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: The Bodley Head Ltd
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publication date: 8 Jun 2017
ISBN: 9781847923110

'A remarkable, authentic and chilling expose of a global conspiracy that reads like a first-rate conspiracy thriller: a book of gripping, compulsive and disturbing impact' William Boyd Dark Mirror is the ultimate inside account of the vast, global surveillance network that now pervades all our lives.

  • The TimesBook of the Week
4 stars out of 5
Hugo Rifkind
22 May 2020

"a fascinating account of how Edward Snowden blew the whistle on secret online surveillance"

Even after reading this interesting book, I still don’t really know why the whistleblower sacrificed so much to blow the whistle. While certainly fascinating on surveillance and all that, it is better read as a study of the travails of a journalist who seeks to investigate national security. Shortly before publication Gellman realises that Snowden wants not only to leak, but also to be able to prove that he is the person who has done so, so he can claim asylum elsewhere. This sends Gellman into a panic. “Alarm gave way to vertigo,” he writes. 

Reviews

4 stars out of 5
Mark Urban
17 May 2020

"Gellman eschews the binary “traitor or hero” assessment of Snowden"

The value of this book is that Gellman eschews the binary “traitor or hero” assessment of Snowden. Rather he highlights the dangers of the surveillance state’s vast reach. I would expect nothing less from him, but I suspect that if the NSA were to create a user agreement page that opened before you could operate your new phone or laptop, the vast majority of people would simply tick it, unread, and move on.