Book Review: The Devil Inside the Beltway by Michael Daughterty

The Devil Inside the Beltway by Michael Daughterty
The Devil Inside the Beltway by Michael Daugherty

Title: The Devil Inside the Beltway: The Shocking Expose of the US Government Surveillance and Overreach into Cybersecurity, Medicine and Small Business

Author: Michael J. Daugherty

Genre: Non-Fiction, Politics

Publisher: Broadland Press (and courtesy of NetGalley)

Published: October 1, 2013

Page Amount: 397 pages 

Blurb From Goodreads: “The Devil Inside the Beltway” is a riveting true story that reads like a thriller. It begins when an aggressive cybersecurity company, with retired General Wesley Clark on its advisory board, downloads the private health information of thousands of LabMD’s patients. The company, Tiversa, campaigns for LabMD to hire them. After numerous failed attempts to procure LabMD’s business, Tiversa’s lawyer informs LabMD that Tiversa will be handing the downloaded file to the FTC. Within this page turner, Daugherty unveils that Tiversa was already working with Dartmouth, having received a significant portion of a $24,000,000 grant from Homeland Security to monitor for files. The reason for the investigation was this: Peer to peer software companies build back doors into their technology that allows for illicit and unapproved file sharing. When individual files are accessed, as in the case of LabMD, proprietary information can be taken. Tiversa, as part of its assignment, downloaded over 13 million files, many containing financial, medical and top secret military data. 

Daugherty’s book exposes a systematic and alarming investigation by one of the US Government’s most important agencies. The consequences of their actions will plague Americans and their businesses for years.

Why Read: One of the first NetGalley books I actually downloaded, it took me longer than it should have to begin reading it. I am already an avid reader of political stories and scandals… and to read something that really implicated the government has always been something on my list. So, at least I can check that one off!

Review: It’s hard to describe The Devil Inside the Beltway. Some would call it the ranting and raving of a man possessed with vehement hatred against the FTC; then again, there are others like me, who would call it informative. If there’s one thing to make you read this book, it is that there is much more going on behind the scenes of our federal government than you think.

Written in first person, the book follows the main character (Daugherty) through his struggles with the FTC, different lawyers, and keeping his own company, LabMD strong and able to compete. Although the majority of the book was me sighing in sadness as the company was targeted time after time again, it certainly shed light upon he bureaucratic system of governance that we call normal.

Admittedly there were some long-winded parts with legal decisions and lawyer correspondence, but ultimately if you have an interest in legally minded documents and their dissection: you will enjoy it. Daughterty has a witty sense of humor that extends not only to the government’s targeting of him, but also of his own naivety at the beginning of the book. It is certainly a refreshing change of pace to read something so blunt.

So readers: yes. I recommend it. But keep in mind, you’ll feel the urge to do some serious research after the fact…

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Review Coming Soon: Nightcrawlers by Tim Curran

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