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Data Privacy, One of These Days

For some odd reason, data privacy maven Bruce Schneier is an optimist. It's odd because, according to Schneier, there's practically no such thing as data privacy. Just about everything we do these days is under some form of electronic surveillance, with governments and corporations eager to record and analyze our every action.

But when Schneier holds forth on Friday at Harvard University, as part of the ongoing HUBweek festivities, he'll reassure his listeners that the cause is not lost, that our online privacy will someday be ensured.

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Video: Adam Ruins Security

Bruce Schneier appeared on an episode of truTV's "Adam Ruins Everything."

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Video: Panel at Free and Safe in Cyberspace 2015

Bruce Schneier participated in a panel at Free and Safe in Cyberspace 2015, with Bart Preneel, Richard Stallman, Andreas Wild, Jovan Golic, Bjoern Rupp, Michael Sieber, Melle Van den Berg, Pierre Chastanet, and moderator Rufo Guerreschi.

Is it feasible to provide ordinary citizens access to affordable and user-friendly end-2-end IT services with constitutionally-meaningful levels of user-trustworthiness, as a supplement to their every-day computing devices? If so, how? What scale of investments are needed?

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Video: Trust, Society, and Technology

Bruce Schneier gave a keynote at Free and Safe in Cyberspace 2015.

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Q&A with Bruce Schneier: What if Your Law Firm Is the Next Ashley Madison?

If the subject is security, chances are Bruce Schneier has an opinion on it, and that opinion has been published somewhere—on his blog, in the New York Times, on the BBC,  in the Guardian, in Wired, in one of his 13 books. You get the point. On security, Schneier is among the most well-known and most prolific authorities in the world. Since coming to prominence in the mid-90s through his writings on cryptography, he has testified on the floor of Congress, served on several government committees, coined the term 'security theater' in the wake of 9/11, and hooked a global following of some quarter-million readers through his website and newsletter alone.

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Audio: How Big Brother Snuck Up On Us

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Show Recap

The episode in brief:

  • Bruce Schneier talks about privacy and security
  • His new book Data and Goliath
  • The hidden battles to collect your data and control your world
  • The nonsense of data vs. metadata
  • Why privacy is not a changeable social norm
  • The harm ubiquitous mass surveillance does to our society

Astute regular listeners may have observed that Dr. J is becoming more and more intrigued with the related issues of privacy and security. These apply to online and mobile phone technology. Both are thoroughly involved in communicating with your social networks.

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Data and Goliath by Bruce Schneier (Book Review)


Data and Goliath is a fascinating exploration of this post-Snowden world we live in. It shows how the back-doors that technology companies were forced to implement for the NSA, have actually become weapons for other agencies and hackers to use. We're taken through the murky world of international espionage, and shown how we have all become collateral damage in this digital arms race. Schneier also explains that even when we try to protect ourselves by leaving Facebook or Gmail, the fact that our friends and relatives still use them means we're caught up in this global informational dragnet.

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Audio: Security and Privacy with Bruce Schneier

“What we learn again and again is that security is less about what you think of, and more about what you didn’t think of.”


  • In Data and Goliath, what are the motives of different goliaths?
  • Why is the Ashley Madison case a watershed moment in security?
  • Do you still feel we should break up the NSA?
  • Will Google and Amazon become military contractors?
  • How can we defend ourselves from DOS attacks from refrigerators?
  • When we put processors in refrigerators, and cars, and thermostats, are we increasing the attack surface, and our vulnerabilities faster than we are improving our utility?

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Internet das Coisas Poderá Criar Caos Em Segurança Digital, Diz Especialista

Um hacker pode invadir uma smarTV, uma geladeira com internet ou outro tipo de produto da chamada "internet das coisas" e, uma vez com acesso, roubar informações de um computador ou de um celular que estiverem conectados à mesma rede. E, por causa da propagação desse tipo de aparelho, nossa segurança digital pode ficar (ainda) mais vulnerável a criminosos.

Essa é a visão de Bruce Schneier, considerado por alguns o maior especialista em segurança na internet no mundo, que vem ao Brasil nesta semana para falar durante um evento de tecnologia, o Mind the Sec.

"Não há um motivo para que uma geladeira conectada não sirva de porta para um outro dispositivo, seja seu celular ou seu computador", disse em entrevista à Folha.

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"A Lot of Attacks from Western Countries Go through China," Says Bruce Schneier

The attack on Sony Pictures over the film The Interview was perpetrated by North Korea, according to security expert Bruce Schneier.

The former chief technology officer of BT Managed Security Solutions, now CTO at Resilient Systems, had expressed scepticism at the time of the attack that the secretive dictatorship had been behind the attack, motivated by the theme of the film: two hapless American agents who were supposed to assassinate the country's leader, Kim Jong-un.

But in a video keynote speech at LinuxCon 2015, Schneier claimed that he had changed his mind. "Many of us, including myself, were skeptical for several months.

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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 Resilient Systems, Inc.