News Tagged "Economist"
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A computer-security expert weighs up the costs and benefits of collecting masses of personal data
Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World. By Bruce Schneier.W.W. Norton; 383 pages; $27.95 and £17.99.
SOCIETY has more digital information than ever and can do new things with it. Google can identify flu outbreaks using search queries; America’s National Security Agency (NSA) aspires to do the same to find terrorists. But at the same time people are under constant surveillance by companies and governments, since the rules protecting privacy are hopelessly out of date.
In “Data and Goliath” Bruce Schneier, a computer-security expert, does a fine job of laying out the problems caused by this compulsive collection of personal data, and suggests some steps that would help protect society from the most egregious excesses. The challenges are severe because modern technologies collect large amounts of information on the most innocuous of activities, which formerly left no data trace…
“The NSA has turned the internet into a giant surveillance platform.” Security guru Bruce Schneier (pictured) did not pull his punches when he addressed the 1,200 engineers gathered for the meeting of Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in Vancouver last week. But when it came to the question of what should be done about it, he and the other participants in a panel discussion had less to offer.
Mr Schneier, a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Centre on Internet and Society, is one of the few people who had seen most if not all the NSA documents downloaded by Edward Snowden. Only a few have been made public so far, with the most recent revelation being the stealth tapping of Google’s internal networks…
HOW useful are ID checks in large office buildings? Is it safe to use a credit card online? Can face-scanning systems make airports safer? Not very, yes, and no, says Bruce Schneier in “Beyond Fear”, the latest of several books on security to have appeared since September 11th 2001.
Mr. Schneier, however, comes at these questions from an unusual and informative perspective. He is one of the world’s leading experts on computer security, and arguably the most articulate. For years, he has explained the ins and outs of his field by drawing analogies with real-world security. In his new book, he turns this approach on its head, using his analytical skills, honed in the field of computer security, to evaluate the other security measures that are now so common…
Secrets and Lies: Digital Security in a Networked World.
By Bruce Schneier.
John Wiley & Sons; 432 pages; $29.99 and £19.50
WHEN an acknowledged expert suddenly announces that his previous views are completely wrong, it is time to take notice. That is exactly what Bruce Schneier, an authority on computer security, has just done in “Secrets and Lies”. Like many in his field, he used to be beguiled by the mathematics of cryptography, and believed that, with enough fancy encryption and authentication, it was possible to build a totally secure system—a mathematical utopia he described in a previous book, “Applied Cryptography”, which became a standard work. But Mr Schneier now believes that he was wrong, and “Secrets and Lies” is his bid to correct this mistake…
Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.