“You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it.” Scott McNealy, CEO, Sun Microsystems, January 1999
Thrust into a conference room with trigger-happy guards, Privacy Wars opens with negotiations taking place between a software company and one of its clients. The tension is high as this particular client demands special concessions for its privacy software that Cybertech refuses to offer. Fans of Trudel’s work will recognize Cybertech and John Giles from his book Soft Target.
Set in the not-so-distant future, through a series of “astronomical deficits and a dark period of crony capitalism, corruption, socialism, and frequent national embarrassments,” America has lost its strength as a world power, and Asia has taken its place. Desperate for a solution, the U.S. president enters into secret agreements with Japan for a loan, deals which suggest treasonous behavior and abuses of authority. The biggest casualty will be Cybertech, whose software creates problems for those who think no information should be private.
Cybertech realizes that it is being targeted through a series of bogus lawsuits and violation claims, crippling its ability to function. When “Iron John,” Giles’ son, Will, now CEO of Cybertech, realizes the attacks might be personal, he goes into hiding and heads for the hills, leaving everything behind, with minimal resources for surviving in the woods. Will is confronted by a mysterious woman who gives him instructions to ensure his survival, and he has little choice but to trust her.
The attacks on Cybertech escalate from bureaucratic tyranny to an all-out physical war. An organization called the Peace Enforcers, which operates as though they are above any law, conducts acts of war on US soil with no provocation. In conjunction with a martial-arts trained killer named Tanaka, who enjoys torturing and killing, Cybertech staff find themselves at the Peace Enforcer’s mercy, and Will, who has no defensive training, insists on returning to the corporate offices to try to help his staff.
The consequences of this action are a major turning point in the story: our hero finds himself assisted by ancient technologies of advanced civilizations, the Viracocha, who go back to the building of the pyramids. Fortunately for us, Trudel includes well-researched explanations into the theories after the end of the story: what might appear to be fantasy and science fiction may have some real-world credence.
The dogged romantic pursuit of Will by his protector, Becky, who is described in favorable dimensions, complete with advanced degrees and connections in high places, adds a sense of intimacy to the story. Trudel has a mastery of using media’s humorous mis-reportings (as he puts them) that create unintentional heroes. Each section of the book starts with a real attributed quote pertaining to the story line, some going back to ancient times, and others that are there for Trudel to remind the reader of America’s constitutional roots.
Privacy Wars by John D. Trudel, explores and confronts the issues that are involved with absolute privacy in software, corporations and government from several perspectives with the need to balance personal privacy and corporate privacy with the need for national defense. Trudel is known for his catch phrase “Thrillers are fiction…until it happens.” And he knows how to write a thriller!