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Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness After the Digital Explosion, First Edition by Harry Lewis, Ken Ledeen, Hal Abelson

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Chapter 3Ghosts in the Machine

Secrets and Surprises of Electronic Documents

What You See Is Not What the Computer Knows

On March 4, 2005, Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena was released from captivity in Baghdad, where she had been held hostage for a month. As the car conveying her to safety approached a checkpoint, it was struck with gunfire from American soldiers. The shots wounded Sgrena and her driver and killed an Italian intelligence agent, Nicola Calipari, who had helped engineer her release.

A fierce dispute ensued about why U.S soldiers had rained gunfire on a car carrying citizens of one of its Iraq war allies. The Americans claimed that the car was speeding and did not slow when warned. The Italians denied both claims. The issue caused ...

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