Schneier on Video: Security Theater Against Movie Plot Threats

On June 10, 2006, I gave a talk at the ACLU New Jersey Membership Conference: “Counterterrorism in America: Security Theater Against Movie-Plot Threats.” Here’s the video.

EDITED TO ADD (2/10): The video is a little over an hour long. You can download the .WMV version directly here. It will play in the cross-platform, GPL VLC media player, but you may need to upgrade to the most recent version (0.8.6).

EDITED TO ADD (2/11): Someone put the video up on Google Video.

Posted on February 9, 2007 at 1:07 PM19 Comments


Joseph February 9, 2007 1:55 PM

Come on, Bruce. After all of your talk about the inadequacies and stupidity of DRM, and how you can’t give people a video without giving them a video, you didn’t include a direct download link so we don’t have to watch it in a plugin?

joe February 9, 2007 2:44 PM

erm…. WMV and RAM?
no thanks.
Give me AVI or MOV and maybe i’ll watch it.
Even better, just put it on youtube.

judas_iscariote February 9, 2007 3:05 PM

Thanks for the video Bruce, however will be nicer and more consistent with the contents of this blog if the videos are provided in an open format, with direct links. otherwise it will look like “Do what I say, not what I do”.

Just a Guy February 9, 2007 4:51 PM

The WMV video plays OK in VLC, so it must be “open” enough for them to support it. (note to those unfamiliar with VLC, all codec implementations are 100% open source)

Alex February 10, 2007 4:04 AM

Played perfectly on a Mac with VLC 0.86. The video is a little like re-reading ‘Beyond Fear’, still interesting though.

Bruce Schneier February 10, 2007 8:51 AM

Regarding formats. I admit that I know very little about video. I thought these were open formats, and would be easy to play on random systems. If anyone wants to convert what I have to another format, I’d be happy to host it.

But from all these random comments, I can’t figure out if people have legitimate complaints, or if they’re just complaining. And I don’t see anyone telling me which format they would prefer.

YouTube doesn’t take videos this long.

it just works February 10, 2007 5:38 PM

@Bruce Schneier,

Video worked great for me. So far all problems people have raised have been solved, or never really been problems.

I think including a direct-link to the file somewhere is a great idea, because it makes it easier to download.

Thanks, and don’t worry so much about this :).

Theora February 11, 2007 5:15 AM

“As an SMPTE standard, VC-1 is open to implementation by anyone, although implementers are hypothetically required to pay licensing fees to the MPEG LA, LLC licensing body or directly to its members who hold essential patents on the format (since it is a non-exclusive licensing body).”

I.e. it appears that this format/codec is patent encumbered. This is a problem with open source people.

An unencumbered alternative is Ogg Theora:

Providing both would make even more people happy. 🙂

Stuart Young February 11, 2007 8:41 PM

Audio only would be nice, especially if the audio was a bit clearer than the audio in the video, which sounds rather poor.

Bruce Schneier February 11, 2007 8:55 PM

“Audio only would be nice, especially if the audio was a bit clearer than the audio in the video, which sounds rather poor.”

I wish I had high-quality audio.

LiveSound February 12, 2007 8:29 AM

Someone needs to take up a donation for ACLU New Jersey to upgrade their sound reinforcement system (and maybe a little extra for video). Even if you don’t support their cause, no one should have to endure microphones like that. :-}

Leave a comment


Allowed HTML <a href="URL"> • <em> <cite> <i> • <strong> <b> • <sub> <sup> • <ul> <ol> <li> • <blockquote> <pre> Markdown Extra syntax via

Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.