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Audio: Bruce Schneier, Data and Goliath

Bruce Schneier spoke with Paul Harris about his new book, Data and Goliath. Topics include:

  • Are we giving up too much information voluntarily in exchange for free services?
  • What are data brokers gathering about us, who are they selling it to?
  • Are private companies doing enough to shield our data from government?
  • How companies and law enforcement can use your cell phone to know where you’ll be tomorrow.
  • Whether the NSA can process the huge amounts of surveillance info it is gathering on all of us.
  • The war on terror as an excuse to get into anyone’s computer, and its chilling effect on free speech and thought.

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"We the People Have a Lot of Work to Do" Says Schneier in a Must-Read Book on Security and Privacy

  • Gil Press
  • Forbes
  • March 24, 2015

"The surveillance society snuck up on us," says Bruce Schneier in Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Capture Your Data and Control Your World. It's a thought-provoking, absorbing, and comprehensive guide to our new big data world. Most important, it's a call for a serious discussion and urgent action to stop the harms caused by the mass collection and mining of data by governments and corporations. To paraphrase Schneier's position on anonymity—we either need to develop more robust techniques for preserving our freedom, or give up on the idea entirely.

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Review of Data and Goliath

During the Cold War, communist East Germany was perhaps the most spied-upon nation on earth, with one secret police informant for every 66 citizens.

Those were the good old days. In 21st-century America, we've got more informants than citizens, all of them digital. Our phones and computers incessantly rat us out, broadcasting our interests, friendships, and locations to governments and corporations alike, according to renowned cryptographer and Internet privacy advocate Bruce Schneier in his new book, "Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World."

Nobody planned it this way; hyper-surveillance just happened.

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All the Secret Ways You're Being Tracked That You Don't Even Realize

  • Zeeshan Aleem
  • Mic
  • March 23, 2015

Your cellphone emits a signal that tags your location every minute of every day. Your Google search log records your private anxieties and interests. Your text messages and social media accounts capture every detail of your social life. Your store purchases produce records of your spending habits.

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Audio: Metadata Retention and Privacy

Last week the proposed data retention bill passed through the House of Representatives, and is expected to pass through the Senate soon. These laws are set to allow warrantless access to phone calls, sms, social media and internet usage, in the name of tightening our national security.

Disputes and amendments to the bill have focused on confidentiality threats for journalists and whistleblowers, but what effect will data retention have on the average person?

Our host Sam Baran spoke to Bruce Schneier, who is a fellow at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society and author of the book Data and Goliath about the ways governments and corporations are storing and using data.

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Expert Bruce Schneier: It’s Hard Not to Despair over the State of IT Security

The more things change the more they stay the same, goes an old saying. That certainly seems to be true in IT security.

Despite decades of experience almost every day there's another story about a data breach, software vulnerability or new malware discovered.

So perhaps it's no surprise that the 15th anniversary edition of veteran security expert Bruce Schneier's book Secrets and Lies: Digital Security in a Networked World begins with a foreword that admits how little things have changed since the book first came out in 2000.

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Cyberattack Is Easier than Cyberdefence—Bruce Schneier

Cybersecurity guru Bruce Schneier to reveal lessons learned from the Sony hack scandal at the Gulf Information Security Expo and Conference (GISEC)

Cybercriminal attacks around the world will continue to rise as long as personal data provides the ability to commit fraud, and intellectual property is worth stealing, leaving both individuals and organisations vulnerable to harmful computer and network intrusions.

According to cybersecurity guru Bruce Schneier, one of the keynote speakers at Gulf Information Security Expo and Conference (GISEC), a cyberattack is much easier to implement than it is to install impenetrable cyberdefences.

The 3rd edition of GISEC, the region's leading I.T. security platform, will take place from 26-28 April 2015 at Dubai World Trade Centre.

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Video: Data and Goliath

With Australia’s data retention laws set to pass the Senate, world-leading online security expert Bruce Schneier explains the danger of metadata.

Note: this video may not be viewable outside Australia.

Watch the Video on YouTube

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Two Books Look at How Modern Technology Ruins Privacy


"Even the East Germans couldn't follow everybody all the time," Bruce Schneier writes. "Now it's easy."

This may sound hyperbolic, but Schneier's lucid and compelling Data and Goliath is free of the hysteria that often accompanies discussions about surveillance. Yes, our current location, purchases, reading history, driving speed and Internet use are being tracked and recorded. But Schneier's book, which focuses mainly on the United States, is not a rant against the usual bad guys such as the U.S.

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Audio: How Secure Is Your Data?

For this week's Friday Roundtable, we dive into the issues of data security discussed in Bruce Schneier's new book "Data and Goliath."

Schneier writes in his introduction: "Here is what's true: Today's technology gives governments and corporations robust capabilities for mass surveillance."

Schneier and two other technology and security experts joined the Roundtable to talk about the state of data security.

Highlights from the conversation

Cell phones have become surveillance devices - for better or worse.

"The cell phone knows who you talk to, what time you talked to them, what time you wake up in the morning, what time you go to sleep at night. It knows who you sleep with because you've both got a phone," said Schneier. "It is an amazing surveillance device and something we would never allow if the government mandated it.

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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.