News: 2006 Archives

Theater of the Absurd at the T.S.A.

  • Randall Stross
  • New York Times
  • December 17, 2006

FOR theater on a grand scale, you can’t do better than the audience-participation dramas performed at airports, under the direction of the Transportation Security Administration.

As passengers, we tender our boarding passes and IDs when asked. We stand in lines. We empty pockets. We take off shoes. We do whatever is asked of us in these mass rites of purification. We play our assigned parts, comforted in the belief that only those whose motives are good and true will be permitted to pass through.

Of course, we never see the actual heart of the security system: the government’s computerized no-fly list, to which our names are compared when we check in for departure. The T.S.A. is much more talented, however, in the theater arts than in the design of secure systems. This becomes all too clear when we see that the agency’s security procedures are unable to withstand the playful testing of a bored computer-science student…

Audio: Interview on Electronic Passports

  • Dave Birch
  • Digital Identity Blog
  • November 20, 2006

[Dave Birch] This week’s podcast turned out to be rather timely. I happened to have a chat with noted security guru Bruce Schneier about e-passports a couple of days before the UK e-passports made the news. The topic of e-passports merits serious discussion and Bruce’s perspective is very valuable.

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The Security Evangelist

Minnesota-based author Bruce Schneier challenges the conventional wisdom about what makes people, corporations and nations safer in the post-9/11 world.

  • Leslie Brooks Suzukamo
  • Pioneer Press
  • November 19, 2006

Want to keep your kids safe? Teach them to talk to strangers, says Bruce Schneier, a Minneapolis author who happens to be one of the world’s leading security experts.

The Brooklyn transplant made his reputation as a cryptographer—his work has been mentioned in “The Da Vinci Code” and on the TV show “24”—and as co-founder of the network security company Counterpane, which was recently acquired by BT, the former British Telecom.

A geek’s geek who gets treated like a rock star at hacker conventions and mainstream security conferences alike, he continues as chief technology officer of BT Counterpane, a Silicon Valley-based company that manages the security of hundreds of corporations worldwide. But he’s spent much of the past few years trying to change the way most of us think about security…

Audio: Baron Dave and Brian interview Bruce Schneier

  • Shockwave Radio Theater
  • November 18, 2006

Baron Dave Romm and Brian Westley talk with guest Bruce Schneier. Topics range from terrorism to computer security to molecular gastronomy.

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Expert Urges Detective Work to Battle Terror

  • Bruce Landis
  • The Providence Journal
  • November 17, 2006

PROVIDENCE—The government is wasting billions of dollars on fruitless antiterrorist tactics when what’s needed is more old-fashioned police work, a visiting security expert said yesterday.

The expensive and invasive high-tech surveillance schemes and armed guards at airport won’t block terrorist attacks, said Bruce Schneier, because the terrorists can simply go elsewhere.

If we guard the Super Bowl, the terrorists can attack a playoff game instead. Or a shopping mall. Or trains, the way they did in Spain, where more than 190 people died and 1,900 were injured in March 2005…

Encryption Expert Teaches Security

  • Brian Bergstein
  • Associated Press
  • September 24, 2006

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – It must say something about our times that Bruce Schneier, a geeky computer encryption expert turned all-purpose security guru, occasionally gets recognized in public. “My life is just plain surreal,” he says.

Schneier, 43, has made it so by popping up whenever technology and regular life intersect, weighing in on everything from the uselessness of post-Sept. 11 airport security measures to the perils of electronic voting machines and new passports with radio chips.

He does it by writing books, essays, a frequently updated Web log and an e-mail newsletter with 125,000 subscribers. It helps that he has never met a reporter whose phone calls he will not return. “I’m a media slut,” he admits…

Audio: I Always Feel Like Somebody's Watching Me

  • MPR News
  • June 30, 2006

You used to only be able to find surveillance cameras in banks, or 24-hour convenience stores, or communist dictatorships.

But today they’re virtually everywhere—from buses in London to restaurants in New Delhi to the Bridges of Madison County in central Iowa.

Security technology expert Bruce Schneier joins reporter Nikki Tundel for a surveillance walking tour of downtown Minneapolis.

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Tales from the Cryptographer

  • Ken Picard
  • Dig
  • June 6, 2006

Security guru Bruce Schneier busts the myths of post-9/11 safety measures

Bruce Schneier has little patience for pointless security measures. As an internationally acclaimed cryptographer and security expert who travels extensively for work, he encounters them every day. Most airline passengers probably have wondered whether taking off their shoes for airport screeners accomplishes anything. Schneier not only understands why it doesn’t, he can explain why it actually make us less secure. As he puts it, “If we’re relying on airport screeners to prevent terrorism, it’s already too late. After all, we can’t keep weapons out of prisons. How can we ever hope to keep them out of airports?”…

Bruce Schneier: Channeling Common Sense

This mastermind's teachings and advice lead back to a singular goal: a common-sense approach to security

  • Roger A. Grimes
  • InfoWorld
  • May 26, 2006

Bruce Schneier, CTO of Counterpane, is one of the world’s foremost experts on computer security. From a hard-core technical aspect (his first book, Applied Cryptography, is a long-time best seller for people wishing to understand cryptography in detail) as well as a philosophical viewpoint (his other books, such as Secrets and Lies or Beyond Fear, and his monthly Crypto-Gram newsletter), he continues to promote innovative commonsense security.

Bruce will come at an issue with what seems like an unpopular viewpoint, and turn your initial, gut reaction on its head. Say black, and Bruce is likely to say white. Say we need better security at large sports arenas and Bruce will argue the opposite. Say we need to create national ID cards to separate the terrorists from the law-abiding citizens and Bruce will say “baloney!” Want to spend billions making our skies safe from bomb-toting madmen? Forget about it!…

Steal These Ideas: 5 Security Experts' Tips and Techniques

  • John McCormick
  • Baseline
  • May 15, 2006


1 – Would a more proactive approach to security—working to ensure that stronger software security is built into applications—work any better than the reactive approaches, such as patches and external software safeguards?

Of course. It’s the only possible approach. The notion that we can write lousy software, throw it out into the world and then patch it later has failed. It doesn’t work. We need to write more secure software from the beginning.

2 – How satisfied do you think corporate CIOs and CSOs are with the effort their software vendors are putting into delivering more secure products? Do you see the quality of the security built into software products getting better or worse?…

2006 Dr. Dobb's Journal Excellence in Programming Award

  • Jonathan Erickson
  • Dr. Dobb's Journal
  • April 2006

The Dr. Dobb’s Journal Excellence in Programming Award is an annual award that acknowledges individuals who, in the spirit of innovation and cooperation, have made significant contributions to the advancement of software development. Past recipients include leaders and thinkers in the development community such as Linus Torvalds, James Gosling, Erich Gamma, Guido van Rossum, Jon Bentley, Anders Hejlsberg, P.J. Plauger, and Guy Steele Jr., among others.

This year’s recipient—Bruce Schneier—is unique in that he has long been a member of the Dr. Dobb’…

"Life is Insecurity"

  • SAP Info International
  • March 27, 2006

Which IT security issues are really important? Which are the main topics enterprises are dealing with in 2006? What is the role of encryption? – When people want to know how security really works, they often turn to Bruce Schneier, internationally-renowned security technologist and author. The “security guru” is Co-Founder and CTO of Counterpane Internet Security, Inc. Schneier is best known as a security critic and commentator, his free monthly security newsletter explains the news in a common sense. In conversation with SAP INFO online, Schneier talks candidly about his own fascination for IT security and names the actual and future challenges concerning this topic…

Interview with Bruce Schneier

  • Marc Ruef
  • SCIP
  • February 2006

German translation

Bruce Schneier is an expert for cryptography and computer security, developer of popular crypto algorithms, author of many books and co-founder of Counterpane Internet Security.

scip AG: Hello Bruce. Thank you very much for your time. How is it going? Your assistant told me you were on a trip? Working off your speaking schedule ( schedule.html)?

Bruce Schneier: Most of my travel involves some speaking these days. I’ve just come back from participating in a seminar called “The Politics of Fear” at Tufts University. Next week I am speaking to staffers in Congress about data mining, and giving a lecture at “The Politics of Fear”. Later in the month, I head to Europe for a series of conferences. Quite a bit of my working life is like that these days…

Audio: Surveillance Society

  • The Diane Rehm Show
  • January 31, 2006

How recent disclosures regarding domestic surveillance, the Justice Department’s requests for Google search histories, and advances in data mining are challenging conventional notions of privacy.


  • Robert O’Harrow, investigative reporter, Washington Post and author of “No Place To Hide”
  • Joe Whitley, attorney, Alston and Bird, and former general counsel, Department of Homeland Security
  • Bruce Schneier, Chief Security Technology Officer, Counterpane Internet Security

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Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.