Bruce Schneier on Breaking Free from "Feudal Security"

"We live in a world where we’re ceding a lot of our power to other companies," said Bruce Schneier (@schneierblog), security blogger and author of "Liars and Outliers" in our conversation at the 2013 RSA Conference in San Francisco.

Schneier was referring to companies such as Google and Facebook that control our data as well as companies that control our devices, such as Apple.

"These companies are in charge of our security and we have no choice but to trust them and in many cases their interests don’t align with ours," said Schneier. "It’s not that these companies are evil. It’s just that they’re acting in their best interests which isn’t necessarily our best interests."

In a previous "State of Security" article, 32 of the Best and Worst Infosec Analogies, Schneier offered up "feudal security" as one of his favorite infosec metaphors because we’ve simply become beholden to the whims of a few megacorporations in how they’ll wield our information.

Schneier’s vision of "feudal security" seemed a little fatalistic. I asked him if there was any recourse. He said there are some options which require a lot of unplugging from society which simply isn’t convenient for most of us. Some of us though still make selective choices, such as Schneier who chooses not to be on Facebook.

It’s a gentle balance as "technology both obscures trust and enables trust," explained Schneier.

There’s a lot of data that’s being collected about us for which we’re completely unaware. At the same time we rely on technology to help us form relationships.

For more on this topic read Schneier’s blog post, "New Regimes of Trust" and please let us and Schneier know in the comments how you’d go about breaking the security trust reigns of feudal security.

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Categories: Recorded Interviews, Video

Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.