Security insights

by Michael Alderete on 9/6/2003

From a recent interview with Bruce Schneier, one of the U.S.‘s premiere security experts, comes one of the most understandable and insightful comments on recent security changes that I’ve read:

There’s a common myth that security and liberty are opposites, that increased surveillance is necessary for increased security. This is wrong. Of all the measures instituted to improve airline security, only two have had any positive effect: Reinforcing the cockpit door and teaching the passengers to fight back. Everything else is window dressing — “security theater,” as I call it in my book. Notice that neither of those two things have any effect on personal liberties.

I’m sure that so-called “homeland security” will continue to be a major political lever used to introduce more government control and oversight into our lives. Perhaps Bruce’s new book will at least inject some common sense into the discussion.

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“Microsoft security” oxymoron

by Michael Alderete on 2/2/2002

Bruce Schneier is recognized worldwide as an expert in the area of computer security. He puts out a regular newsletter covering current issues, and in the current issue had this to say about Microsoft’s latest “initiative” to improve the security of their products:

Honestly, security experts don’t pick on Microsoft because we have some fundamental dislike for the company. Indeed, Microsoft’s poor products are one of the reasons we’re in business. We pick on them because they’ve done more to harm Internet security than anyone else, because they repeatedly lie to the public about their products’ security, and because they do everything they can to convince people that the problems lie anywhere but inside Microsoft.

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