In light of Edward Snowden’s recent revelations about the NSA’s snooping activities, this riveting story of government surveillance is a must-read for anyone who’s concerned about privacy and what information government can and will find out about law-abiding citizens. The book is the true story of the author, the CEO of LabMD (a 25-employee cancer detection laboratory in Atlanta) and how he discovers that more than 9000 of his company’s patients’ billing information, including social security numbers, was surreptitiously acquired by a security surveillance company called Tiversa. Though LabMD had firewalls and servers to protect customer data, one of its employees violated company policy and installed a peer-to-peer file-sharing network on her computer in order to listen to music. The file-sharing network made LabMD’s billing information on her computer available to outsiders, including Tiversa, who then tries to extort money from the author in order to correct the security breach. When Daugherty refuses to pay, Tiversa turns his company over to a very menacing Federal Trade Commission.
Adding insult to injury, the FTC, which Congress had directed to investigate security leaks, decides to punish LabMD, the victim, instead of the overly-aggressive perpetrator, Tiversa. Daugherty then finds himself in the fight of his life to save his company.
THE DEVIL INSIDE THE BELTWAY is compelling, well written, superbly researched and extensively documented, including Congressional testimony, letters, press releases, e-mails and FOIA-obtained documents. Though the book is nearly 500 pages long, the ending is a bit of a cliffhanger because the author’s government-initiated Kafkaesque nightmare is still unfolding.
Americans, regardless of political affiliation or creed, need to read this book understand how the overreaching government’s modus operandi and lack of accountability can destroy innocent small businesses and individuals.
Fact is oftentimes stranger than fiction and this real-life political thriller is far more shocking and Orwellian than any work of fiction could ever be.
Reviewed by Robin Carr for IndieReader.