News Tagged "Reuters"

Page 1 of 1

Review: Choking on Digital Exhaust

  • Martin Langfield
  • Reuters Breakingviews
  • April 2, 2015

Mass surveillance by governments and corporations is comparable to child labor or environmental pollution. That is the largely persuasive claim of security expert Bruce Schneier in his new book “Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World.” Resistance is not futile, Schneier thinks, although it will be tricky to fight overreaching securocrats and snooping online advertisers without giving up at least some of the genuine advantages of Big Data.

Much of the problem lies in excessive expectations about what mass surveillance can achieve, writes Schneier, who is chief technology officer at security firm Resilient Systems and a fellow at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. It might seem that the combination of huge amounts of collected data and sophisticated data-mining could have prevented the 9/11 attacks or the Boston Marathon bombing. But Schneier says this approach is both very expensive and downright ineffective…

Review: Of Parasites, Trust and Morality

  • Martin Langfield
  • Reuters
  • April 5, 2012

Without trust, society splits into warring tribes and parasites prosper. The financial crisis of 2008 is a powerful example of what can happen when individuals or small groups set their own gain above the common good. Meanwhile, the U.S. debt debate shows how political polarization can lead to potentially crippling paralysis.

People are moral creatures, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt writes in “The Righteous Mind.” Citing brain research, evolutionary psychology and the social sciences, Haidt says successful societies use a shared sense of morality to bind citizens to the common good. In a broad sense, religion has been a highly effective tool for building social cohesion and trust. Security expert Bruce Schneier, who charts similar ground in his book “Liars & Outliers,” largely agrees…

Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.