September 2008
John Wiley & Sons
336 Pages
ISBN: 0470395354

Schneier on Security

A book by Bruce Schneier

You take off your shoes in the airport. You scan the supermarket’s “preferred customer” card to get the sale price. You claw your way through tamper-resistant packaging for a couple of aspirin. You accept all these inconveniences in the name of security. But are you any safer?

Bruce Schneier, arguably the world’s foremost authority on computer security, has explored security issues ranging from protecting your password to illegal wiretapping. This collection of Schneier’s best op-ed pieces, columns, and blog posts goes beyond technology, offering his insight into everything from the risk of identity theft (vastly overrated) to the long-range security threat of unchecked presidential power and the surprisingly simple way to tamper-proof elections. You’ll discover:

  • Why data mining will never protect us from terrorists
  • How your stone-age brain affects what you fear and what security measures you accept
  • Why computer security is fundamentally an economic problem
  • Whether you can really trust a Trusted Traveler
  • If sacrificing your privacy has made you more secure
  • Why refusing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants actually reduces security
  • The industry power struggle over controlling your computer
  • Why we overestimate some risks and underestimate others
  • Why national ID cards won’t make us safer, only poorer

. . . and much more.

This book will challenge your illusions of security at every level. Think it’s okay to give up your privacy if you’re doing nothing wrong? What happens when “wrong” gets redefined? How much power over your personal life are you willing to concede to the person you least want to see as president? What’s the acceptable trade-off between security and convenience?

In this ruthless, comprehensive, and thought-provoking analysis, Schneier shows us what we should be worrying about and how to get our national fingers off the panic button.

Note to regular readers: This book is a collection of essays from June 2002 to June 2008. Everything in this book is also on this website.

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Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.