Fool me once November 22, 2013 3:27 PM

I have mixed thoughts on some of those people you suggest for a “Church” commission. I guess it depends on what one sees the remit of such a commission to be. If on one hand the sole purpose the committee is to get at the “truth” then I don’t have any strong objection to any of the names you list. But if the purpose of the committee is to also suggest reforms, then I would object. Some of those people don’t give a rats ass about security or privacy. For example, Kerr actually wants to increase the power of the NSA. He just wants to do it on his terms so he can win obscure battles in the halls of academia over legal theory.

Man in Black November 22, 2013 3:27 PM

Bruce! No! There are better used for your time than addressing the hive minded sycophants!

Petréa Mitchell November 22, 2013 4:50 PM

Neat to hear you’ve got another book deal!

That “peak ads” paper, though… I think you’ve been pranked.

Gweihir November 22, 2013 6:57 PM

Nice one. I like it.

Despite what some people think, I also like that you admit to using Windows. Sure, well-administrated Linux is much more secure, but in the end risk management is always a holistic process, resources are always limited and nothing needs to be (or can be) perfect. So you use multiple layers and try to have a reasonable overall performance over all layers.

People that use Linux but are careless probably have a lot less effective security than a careful Windows-user…

Gonzo November 23, 2013 11:28 PM

From where I sit, the Greenwald new media venture is exciting. It means a lot more freedom to be a lot more forthcoming — and to name names, especially with hardware and software providers that put in back doors, without editorial pressure from above.

For the “market” to address that part of this problem, the whistle has to, you know, actually blow. That means naming names especially re: hardware, consumer router, and OS back doors.

Mike the goat November 24, 2013 4:02 AM

Gonzo: exactly. If Greenwald and his cohort actually cared about this story they would pay a few bucks to host their own site and publish the unredacted documents en masse. Of course – Greenwald and Co aren’t solely concerned about protecting our freedoms, no – this is a business opportunity hence the dribbling of documents into the Guardian etc.

Cryn November 24, 2013 5:12 PM

Why does Bruce Schneier use ‘BleachBit’ in favor of ‘CCleaner’? In my opinion, CCleaner is a very good cleaning tool.

Nick P November 24, 2013 7:03 PM

@ Cryn

I think BleachBit being an open-source program with a well-understood license (GPL) might make it more desirable. Crap Cleaner, renamed CCleaner, is (I think) close source and has various releases including a free one. A guy concerned about subversion should always lean toward an OSS product by default anyway so long as it gets the job done.

Dirk Praet November 24, 2013 7:25 PM

@ Mike the goat

Of course – Greenwald and Co aren’t solely concerned about protecting our freedoms, no – this is a business opportunity

It certainly is, but I don’t think that’s the only consideration stopping them from just publishing everything unredacted. Everybody knows what has happened to Manning and Assange, and avoiding charges for espionage, aiding the enemy or treason is probably high on their list too.

Mike the goat November 24, 2013 11:19 PM

Dirk: … Kind of defeats the purpose of whistleblowing, doesn’t it? A brave journalist would damn the consequences and release anything that he/she deems to be in the public interest.

Clive Robinson November 25, 2013 1:17 AM

@ Mike the Goat, Dirk Praet,

Whilst the Ed Snowden revelations are in some sense or other a “business oportunity” as is all news with mass appeal, it does not mean that it’s the reason the stories are being released the way they are.

Firstly consider the number of documents involved, we are given various figures ranging from 58,000 from GCHQ just on liason under the “Special Agrement” (BRUSA later UKURSA) and another 200,000 or so NSA internal documents, both as “low side estimates”. Unlike the Manning Wikileak trove of doccuments that contained mainly day to day low grade intel the Snowden documents released so far apppear to be nearly all “briefing” documents for meetings etc and thus represent a distilation of many other documents. This means that there is a lot of information in there to read let alone analyse.

We already know that the public in general are suffering “overload” on the information sofar released, which in reality means even the current flow needs to be reduced to alow them to catch up. And importantly there are fixed point in time events comming up such as elections and Ed Snowden’s temporary visa expiring.

In the UK not so long ago we had a scandle about “MP’s Expenses” basicaly a goodly number were making fraudulat claims and deliberatly exploiting rules to “fill their boots” / “line their pockets”. It was released slowly and although the MP’s and their political parties were initialy able to keep things under check like the “drip drip drip of the Chinese water tourture” or an angler “playing a fish” it wore them down and public outrage and anger built slowly but surely and come election time it was clear that the political system had been significantly effected and quite a few MP’s were on their way to ignomy or jail or both.

And that’s a significant point, in order to destroy the cancer within the body politic you have to first convince the body of voters that there realy is a canncer there and then show them how to exorcise it or eviserate it which ever is more appropriate. The hard part is getting the voting public to not just be aware at an intelectual level but at a level so fundemental that all other voting considerations are subsumed in comparison. The voting public has to see the status quo political encumbrants as fundementaly evil in a very viseral way, and it has to be clear to the parties that these parasites will not get voted for if they continue to put them up. So far the politicos have only got to throwing the buraeucrats under the bus as a palitive, they have to driven upto and beyond the point that they start throwing the likes of Finklestien out and unfortunatly this process takes time.

But at the end of the day poltics is a very lucrative “deadman’s shoes” occupation and potential politicos are a dozen a dime and queing up around the block for a chance at getting a seat at the top table. Likewise journalists know there are ques of wanabies standing behind them. What there are not is ques of high grade sources let alone whistle blowers.

The future of journalists hangs in the balance, one of their number turned Pte Manning in who as a consiquence has been treated in a way that was designed to destroy any normal individual. The banks were seen to be preasured into cutting off money from Wikileaks, who’s founder is currently hidden away in an embassy in London with other wikileaks members having disappeared from view.

What happens to Ed Snowden is now very important to journalists, if he is seen to be in effect “turned in” or “not helped” by the journalists then the effect on future potential whistle blowers will be as the US and many other Govs want to stop them becoming whistle blowers.

So think about how the journalists can keep Ed Snowden out of US Gov hands for the next few years…

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Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.