The Best: People
Like or loathe him, you’ve got to admit that cryptographer Bruce Schneier knows how to capture media attention. From titillating talks to shamelessly promote his books (including the best-selling Secret & Lies and the recently released Beyond Fear), to outrageous remarks on the speaker circuit, Schneier frequently grabs the spotlight with outspoken opinion and candor.
For example: “Most advisories trade on fear. Most newspaper and magazine articles trade on fear,” Schneier said in a recent Information Security interview. “Too many security companies are crying wolf far too often, and it hurts us all.” Not exactly a measured comment, considering his company, Counterpane Internet Security, is one of those companies vying for attention.
Schneier, creator of the Blowfish and Twofish algorithms, is articulate and prolific. In addition to best-selling books, he provides commentary on news events in his monthly Crypto-Gram newsletter, read by more than 90,000 subscribers. His opinion pieces run in some of the nation’s largest newspapers. And he speaks at dozens of conferences a year.
Such exposure benefits us all, since Schneier is among the few industry leaders to break into the mainstream press in a big way. When a major breach is discovered, reporters often turn to him for comment—and, to his credit, he’s usually available. Such access can go a long way in creating a better-educated Internet community to help fight the good fight.