RSA London 2012: Governments Will Fail in Bid to Control Internet, claims Bruce Schneier

By Alastair Stevenson
V3.co.uk
October 10, 2012

The world's governments are destined to fail in their attempts to control the internet, according to BT security expert Bruce Schneier.

Schneier claimed that the internet is currently going through a dark period, with legislators creating ill-conceived cyber policies that are damaging rather than helping online developments.

"Governments are starting to use it [the internet] for power," said Schneier at a press conference in London.

"We're hitting a period in internet history where governments are seizing more control; one where governments that don't understand the internet are trying to interfere with it."

Schneier touted the recent US proposal to create a "killswitch" for the internet as a prime example of policymaker's lack of understanding.

The cryptography expert warned that such policies will cause short term damage by increasing the political separation between the pre- and post-internet generations.

"The internet is biggest generation since rock and roll," said Schneier.

"The line is people on Twitter: those that can't figure it out and those that can't live without it."

As a result Schneier predicted that governments' bid for online power would fail.

"I don't think they [governments] will succeed but there'll be a lot of damage in the process [...] In battles between generation gaps the younger generation always wins as in the end the older dies," said Schneier.

"In the long term, I do believe in humanity's never-ending quest for justice and morality."

Earlier this autumn, Schneier told  V3 's Security Summit 2012, that online anonymity was a significant challenge for governments as he issued a similar call for government to end their attempts to control the web

earlier story: Layers of Security
later story: Schneier Calls for Societal Pressure to Fight Cyber Crime
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Photo of Bruce Schneier by Per Ervland.

Schneier on Security is a personal website. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Co3 Systems, Inc..