Title: Moral Panic
Published: 30th March 2018
Publisher: Dream Flow Media
Author: K.M. Ecke
How could technology be used to assault liberty? Where are the bounds of morality drawn for those with unlimited access to our data? And how are good intentions manipulated into the perpetration of injustice?
These questions unfold within Moral Panic, a hacker thriller exploring the collision of the most extreme elements of vigilantism, surveillance data, and technological media manipulation. It wanders through the maze of near-future technology with a skeptical eye on the data-driven world we live in, hoping an awareness of the possibility of such a story prevents it from coming true in the real world.
As C.T.O. of the largest corporation in the world, Tanner Moore is about to release the greatest convenience innovation in the history of business: drone delivery services to every inch of the globe.
But when an interview with journalist Amy Noral is secretly recorded and published by the clickbait media, Tanner’s fall from grace is swift and brutal.
He is fired, publicly condemned as a terrorist for comments he never made, and kidnapped by a mysterious vigilante group using surveillance data to track and kill their enemies. Tanner must navigate this underground world of violent zealots and hedonist hackers to find his way to freedom, or see his drone innovation controlled by the seekers of absolute power.
Above ground, Amy, the only person who doubts Tanner’s guilt, delves into the string of mysterious circumstances surrounding Tanner’s disappearance. Risking her own well-being to find the truth, she meets a mysterious conspiracy theorist on the internet offering to help her uncover the vigilante group’s malicious purpose.
Stories you read online don’t always show the whole truth, or any at all, with how easily things can be manipulated to make you see things differently. There is a fine line between good and bad but in this case no one here can be seen as one or the other. Bad seen in all but it’s the degrees of it that define them. Sure there are some bat shit crazy people who think what they are doing is for greater good when in reality it’s just their twisted minds trying to give reason to what they do. Which side would you fall on?
So Tanner has been framed for something he didn’t do as a way to get him out of the picture and the only people who can help him are the Social Justice team. They say that it’s either he works for them or the FBI will get him for his online threats. He sees it as the lesser of two evils but has no idea what he is really getting into. It all started after an article about his job, company and boss Peter went viral, with some off the record bits thrown in. Not clear who leaked them but those that hunt for the truth could get caught up in hot water so you really need to be careful with what stones you turn over.
Peter and the main investor Diana want to get to the bottom of the leak to make the problem go away so nothing can stop the launch of their new drone system. They need help with what goes on online so need to dig deeper. But how much of what they find is real and what is being made up?
The drone system needs a lot more data from its customers to work. Just what is that data going to be used for and why? Seems this is where the Social Justice team comes in with collecting data from all sources and using it for other means. Hunter is the leader of the unit and to say he seems a bit bat shit crazy would be putting it mildly. Tanner needs to keep a low profile but have a clear head to be able to see the bigger picture. Many players seem to have double motives to their actions. Can Tanner see them all before it is too late?
Interesting read that tried to have a few quirky twists within to keep you guessing but they were more like ‘oh yeah that makes sense’ kind of realizations rather than ‘wow didn’t see that coming’ ones. Seems everyone and everything is linked and you just have to figure out what side of grey you want to live on as its not just black and white with good and bad in this world. Dragged a little in places but overall an ok read.
3 out of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.