CPSR's 2008 Norbert Wiener Award given to Bruce Schneier

CPSR Press Release
January 24, 2008

Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility honors Bruce Schneier, internationally renowned security technologist and author, with its 2008 Norbert Wiener Award.

CPSR's Vice President, Fyodor Vaskovich, notes that "Bruce has long been a passionate advocate for privacy, security, and civil liberties. He is distinguished by technical accomplishments such as designing the Blowfish and Twofish algorithms, bringing cryptography to a wider audience with his book Applied Cryptography, and founding security vendor BT Counterpane.  But CPSR particularly applauds Bruce for his higher level social and political accomplishments.  Through his best selling books, popular newsletter, tireless speaking schedule, and high-level contacts, Bruce fights to prevent America from succumbing to a culture of fear.  He coined the term 'security theater' to deride showy government security initiatives which may cost a lot of money, look impressive, and often invade privacy, but don't materially improve security.  The Transport Security Administration has become notorious for this."

Bruce publishes his insights on his web site, blog, and in his current bestselling book: Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly about Security in an Uncertain World.  These resources and more can be found at www.schneier.com.

When notified, Bruce replied that "I am honored to receive this award, especially considering the list of people who have previously received it."  Previous winners include Phil Zimmermann, Peter Neumann, Marc Rotenberg, Mitch Kapor, Douglas Engelbart, and more than a dozen other luminaries.

The Norbert Wiener Award will be presented at CPSR's 2008 annual conference,"Technology in Wartime", on Saturday, January 26, 2008 at Stanford University Law School.  Bruce is giving a keynote presentation there on dual-use technologies.  All CPSR members and the public are encouraged and invited to attend.  On-site registration is available.  Further details, including the speaker schedule, are available at http://technologyinwartime.org.

In honoring Schneier, CPSR celebrates 27 years of advocacy by its members to address social issues in computing. CPSR's mission is to share the knowledge of technology professionals to assist society in understanding the power, promise, and limitations of that technology. The Norbert Wiener Award was established in 1987 by CPSR in memory of the originator of the field of cybernetics, Norbert Wiener (1894-1964), whose pioneering work was one of the pillars on which modern computing technology was created. Wiener was among the first to examine the social and political consequences of computing technology. He devoted much of his energy to writing articles and books that would make the technology understandable to a wide audience. His books, The Human Use of Human Beings and God and Golem, Inc., were among the earliest works that opened a public discussion of computers and what they could do.

CPSR - http://www.cpsr.org - is an international public-interest alliance of computer scientists and others interested in the impact of information technology on society. CPSR attempts to direct public attention to difficult choices concerning the applications of computing and how those choices affect society. CPSR was founded in 1981 by computer professionals in Silicon Valley concerned about the use of computers in nuclear weapons systems. CPSR has working groups and chapters throughout the world and is based in San Francisco, California.

Links:
Technology in Wartime Conference: http://technologyinwartime.org/
CPSR Wiener Award: http://www.cpsr.org/about/wiener
Past winners: http://www.cpsr.org/about/wiener/wiener-award
Bruce Schneier's web site: http://schneier.com/

Contact:
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
E-Mail: cpsr(a)cpsr.org
http://www.cpsr.org

earlier story: Bruce Schneier Reflects on a Decade of Security Trends
later story: Information is our Only Security Weapon: Bruce Schneier at Linux.conf.au
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Photo of Bruce Schneier by Per Ervland.

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