There are more than sixty million fake names on Facebook, which certainly lead to uncluttered lives, pitfalls, reflections of a society that disappears into its imagination. Who is Santoshi Nakamoto? What are Bitcoins? Who navigates the dark web? Real stories that intertwine with digital myths and futuristic tales already past. A reset tomorrow in an altered space-time. It is not an Orwellian nightmare but the disturbing reality that transpires from these three stories based on real events in which the writer Andrew O’Hagan throws us.
We were saying that these three stories are distinct but united by a common thread: our lives becoming digital. It’s not hard to love the syncopated rhythm of this book, to get lost in the plots and in the lives of its protagonists. But who are they? Julian Paul Assange is an Australian computer hacker, publisher and activist who founded WikiLeaks in 2006. WikiLeaks is a platform that came to international attention in 2010 when it published nearly half a million documents obtained by U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, mainly related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Although much of the information was already in the public domain, President Barack Obama’s administration viewed the leaks as a threat to U.S. national security. In November of that year, WikiLeaks began publishing approximately 250,000 confidential U.S. diplomatic briefings. These classified documents mostly dated from 2007-2010, but some of them dated back to 1966.
Topics included background on U.S. efforts to isolate Iran politically and economically, especially in response to fears of Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. Reaction from governments around the world was swift and many condemned the publication. Assange became the target of much of that ire, with some American politicians calling for him to be prosecuted as a terrorist.
Facebook, a strange story of agents using the names of dead children as a cover and the dark web, murky ingredients for a story that sees us sucked into a world of lies that from the virtual invades every place of our existence in a game of mirrors.
And finally a third fascinating story about the inventor of Bitcoin, about the man who hides behind the name of Satoshi Nakamoto, the intrigues and the events that have created the myth and forced a genius to disappear into thin air giving up many millions but perhaps saving himself from a worse fate. “The Secret Life, three true stories of the digital age” published by Adelphi is a must to begin to understand the many dimensions of the time we live.