Video from my book tour: Cincinnati presentation

Kevin Loughin came out to my Homeland tour-stop in Cincinnati on Valentine's Day and made a great video of the presentation and Q&A. He was kind enough to post it to YouTube -- thanks, Kevin!

Cory Doctorow talk on Homeland.


  1. Cory, your advice to simply “ask for a lawyer” when stopped by authorities sounds good and well on the surface – but I wonder if you yourself have ever been stopped (for no reason) by cops, etc? – a couple of years ago I had time to kill while waiting for a dental appointment – I took a short walk in the neighborhood and soon a sheriff’s squad car made a U-turn and a big sheriff popped out and ran right towards me and immediately started questioning me about a variety of stupid things (“what’s in your coffee cup?”) – he told me to raise my arms up, then ordered me on the curb while he ran my license. After 2-minutes he strode back smiling and said “YOU’RE FREE TO GO. SORRY SIR, BUT WE HAD A REPORT OF A SUSPICIOUS GUY WHO LOOKS LIKE DREW CAREY IN THE AREA” (I look nothing like Drew Carey)

    I suppose I could have blurted out “I WANT A LAWYER!” at any point, but I had no time to do so. Plus, being questioned by a 6 foot 3 inch cop with a gun, pepper spray and nightstick is a bit intimidating. During this freaky interchange, my only goals were to stay out of jail, keep from being beaten and to be let go. I and many others are not exactly Clarence Darrows or well-known writers with popular websites, who could (in a pinch) gather global support if our rights are violated. We’re simply people walking and waiting to go to the dentist. Just wondering how you’ve faired if you’ve ever been detained by BIG or LITTLE BROTHER? You’ve brought up interesting things in this talk, thanks!

  2. I really do wonder if your advice to document false positives and false negatives on a proxywise content controlling school network, and to spread the word about it, and to find out the cost via the FIA is possibly counterproductive. Doesn’t this quite inherently sets an incentive to come up with better surveillance and filtering systems? Doesn’t it sets an incentive for the usual suspects to formulat strict rules which forbid you from even documenting those flaws, e.g. to consider even searching the web for info about your local proxies weaknesses to be considered hacking? Or to gag rules considering network filtering?

    BTW, may I change the question about teaching your kid? How can I teach people at our age without being percieved (as you are, obviously..) as paranoid?

    Just as an example to illustrate this is not academical: I recently had a discussion with someone who I consider to be technophile, and bright, but could not even get the idea across that email is a open as a postcard. He was insisting since his communication with gmail was ssl encrypted, so any package of his mail would be delivered encrypted to the recipient. And even if not, nobody could reassemble all these packages, he stated. When I explained my views and the tech to my knowledge, I had quickly to admit that I did not understand everything in detail, which weakened my point. You get lost in those details, and bystanders get also lost, and file you (in that case, me) as slightly neurotic. Wich we are, since we can’t neither know all the technical details, nor know the factual amount and intensity of data collecting, filtering and analyzing taking place. Which makes us believers. Slightly more informed believers, but still, believers. Prone to a lot of things, not at least paranoia, .

    So, what’s your advice?

  3. For anyone who started watching and noticed the audio sounded really bad with way too much background noise, it suddenly gets much better about 4 minutes in.

  4. I’m happy to see people are watching.  Cory may have noticed me scurrying up to the table besides him about 4 minutes in.  I’d forgotten to tap the record button on my edirol!  That’s why the room audio is so loud, I had to rely on the camcorder audio to fill.   
    I was bummed that nobody had made a video of your talk on the Little Brother tour, so my goal was to provide the service for those that missed this tour.
    Happy to see I’ve accomplished that. (aside from the initial audio.)

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