News Tagged "New Scientist"
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From spyware designed to catch students misbehaving to police tracking rioters by phone, we are spied on as never before, reveals a book by Bruce Schneier
“DEAR subscriber, you have been registered as a participant in a mass disturbance.” This text was sent by the Ukrainian government last year to everyone with a cellphone known to have been near a protest in the capital, Kiev.
Just what you’d expect from an ex-Soviet country? Not so fast. In the US and Europe, police are also seeking information on phones linked to specific places and times—and always without a warrant. We’re all spied on. Our phones are bugged, our laptops inveterate informants. Reports on activities that define you—where you go, who you meet, what you buy—are sold to the highest bidder. But do we notice? And do we care?…
Secrets and Lies by Bruce Schneier, John Wiley, £19.50, ISBN 0471253111
An exceptional amount of disinformation plagues the world of information security. For decades spies obstructed the “proliferation” of cryptographic and security know-how. This made their job of snooping far easier.
When in 1993 I tried to organise a research programme in computer security, cryptography and coding theory, a spook in a suit approached the institute involved. He told the director that “There’s nothing interesting happening in cryptography, and Her Majesty’s government would like this state of affairs to continue.” To his great credit, the director spilled the beans; the institute’s reaction guaranteed our funding…
Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.