Blown To Bits

Edits and Errata

The first and second printings are identical. The changes listed below have all been incorporated into the third printing of the book; at the moment the only erratum to the third printing is to add a Creative Commons license notice.

Cover: on rear flap:

Change second line so instead of “Electrical Engineering and Computer Science” it reads “Computer Science and Engineering”

After “Professor of Computer Science at Harvard” add “and Fellow of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society”

p. xvii: lines 1-2, change “Electrical Engineering and Computer Science” to “Computer Science and Engineering”

line 8, add after “Science at Harvard” the words “and Fellow of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society”

p. 24. Replace the first paragraph and the first sentence of the second paragraph of the section entitled “Knowing Where You Are” with the following:


Global Positioning Systems (GPSs) have improved the marital lives of countless males too stubborn to ask directions. Put a Garmin or a Tom Tom in a car, and it will listen to precisely timed signals from satellites reporting their positions in space. The GPS calculates its own location from the satellites’ locations and the times their signals are received. The 24 satellites spinning 12,500 miles above the earth enable your car to locate itself within 25 feet, at a price that makes these systems popular birthday presents.

If you carry a GPS-enabled cell phone, your friends can find you, if that is what you want. If your GPS-equipped rental car has a radio transmitter, you can be found whether you want it or not.

p. 43, line 15, after “” add “or”

p. 64. Change the subsection heading from “Fair Practices” to “Fair Information Practice Principles”

p. 65. Change the first line to read “These principles were proposed for U.S. medical data, but were never adopted. Nonetheless, they”

p. 66, line 7. Change “All” to “Most large”

p. 67. First line of last paragraph, change “Privacy Practices” to “Practice Principles”

p. 69. In the middle of the page, change “he might be in prison today” to “his defense would have lacked important exculpatory evidence”

p. 83. Change the sidebar, starting with the word “attaches”, to read as follows


attaches a “digital signature” (see Chapter 5) to the image and uploads the image and the signature to the verification system. The system processes the received image with the same key and verifies that the same signature results. The system is secure because it is impossible, with any reasonable amount of computation, to produce another image that would yield the same signature with this key.


p. 90, first sentence of the second paragraph:

“Depending on the use for which the image was being put, a lossy compression method might be acceptable.”


“Depending on how an image will be used, a lossy compression method might be acceptable.”

p. 93, line 12. Replace the sentence “A document created with Word 2007  previous version of the software” with the following:


Some documents created with Word 2007 can’t be opened in Word 2003 without a software add-on, so even all-Microsoft offices risk document incompatibilities if they don’t adjust to Microsoft’s format changes.


p. 102. Replace from “Filling blocks with zeroes takes time” to the end of the paragraph with the following:


Filling blocks with zeroes might take so much time that users would complain about how slowly their machines were running if every block were zeroed immediately. With some clever programming the process could be made unnoticeable, but so far neither Microsoft nor Apple has made the necessary software investment.


p. 117, l. -13: Judge -> judge

p. 153

“Do no evil”


“Don’t be evil”

p. 189, the two lines just below the figure, change to simply: “Reprinted with permission of RSA Security, Inc.”

p. 317, lines -11 and -12: run on

p. 320, line 10. “Because his ticket did not” should be ital

p. 321, for p. 49, add a single closed quote before the double closed quote: ‘OnStar will cooperate …” -> ‘OnStar will cooperate …’”

p. 324, lines 14 and 15: run on.

p. 324, endnote for page 93: Change “A document” to “Some documents”

p. 327, lines 7 and 8: run on.

p. 341 l. 14 (second occurrence of “Is it possible”):

“Is it possible that a rogue ” -> “by imposing death sentences ”

p. 358, second column. Remove the entry for “MAC”.