[Owasp-boston] Tonight: Bruce Schneier & Jonathan Zittrain Discuss IT, Security, and Power

David Larochelle owasp-boston at larochelle.name
Thu Apr 4 20:53:43 UTC 2013

Here are the details of the event that I mentioned at last nights meeting:

More information is available on the official site:

IT, Security, and Power Bruce Schneier & Jonathan Zittrain in conversation

*April 4, 6:00pm ET
Langdell Hall South, 272 Kirkland and Ellis Classroom*
*Co-sponsored by the Center for Research on Computation and

*From Bruce Schneier:*

What I've Been Thinking About

I have been thinking about the Internet and
how the Internet affects power, and how power affects the Internet.
Increasingly, those in power are using information technology to increase
their power. This has many facets, including the following:

1. Ubiquitous surveillance <http://www.schneier.com/essay-418.html> for
both government and corporate purposes -- aided by cloud computing, social
networking, and Internet-enabled everything -- resulting in a world without
any real privacy.

2. The rise of nationalism <http://www.schneier.com/essay-416.html> on the
Internet and a cyberwar arms race <http://www.schneier.com/essay-411.html>,
both of which play on our fears and which are resulting in increased
military involvement in our information infrastructure.

3. Ill-conceived laws and regulations on behalf of either government or
corporate power, either to prop up their business models (copyright
protections), enable more surveillance (increased police access to data),
or control our actions in cyberspace.

4. A feudal model of security <http://www.schneier.com/essay-406.html> that
leaves users with little control over their data or computing platforms,
forcing them to trust the companies that sell the hardware, software, and

On the one hand, we need new regimes of
trust<http://www.schneier.com/essay-410.html> in
the information age. (I wrote about the extensively in my most recent book,
*Liars and Outliers* <http://www.schneier.com/essay-412.html>.) On the
other hand, the risks associated with increasing
technology<http://www.schneier.com/essay-417.html> might
mean that the fear of catastrophic attack will make us unable to create
those new regimes.

It is clear to me that we as a society are headed down a dangerous path,
and that we need to make some hard choices about what sort of world we want
to live in. It's not clear if we have the social or political will to
address those choices, or even have the conversations necessary to make
them. But I believe we need to try.

*About Bruce Schneier*

Bruce Schneier is an internationally renowned security technologist and
author. Described by The Economist as a "security guru," he is best known
as a refreshingly candid and lucid security critic and commentator. When
people want to know how security really works, they turn to Schneier.

His first bestseller, Applied
explained how the arcane science of secret codes actually works, and was
described by Wired as "the book the National Security Agency wanted never
to be published." His book on computer and network security, Secrets and
Lies <http://www.schneier.com/book-sandl.html>, was called by Fortune "[a]
jewel box of little surprises you can actually use." Beyond
Fear<http://www.schneier.com/book-beyondfear.html> tackles
the problems of security from the small to the large: personal safety,
crime, corporate security, national security. Schneier on
offers insight into everything from the risk of identity theft (vastly
overrated) to the long-range security threat of unchecked presidential
power. His latest book, Liars and
explains how societies use security to enable the trust that they need to

Regularly quoted in the media -- and subject of an Internet
meme<http://www.schneierfacts.com/> --
he has testified on security before the United States Congress on several
occasions and has written articles and op
eds<http://www.schneier.com/essays.html> for
many major publications, including The New York Times, The Guardian, Forbes,
Wired, Nature, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, The Sydney Morning
Herald, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, andThe Washington

Schneier also publishes a free monthly newsletter,
and a blog, Schneier on Security <http://www.schneier.com/>, with a
combined 250,000 readers. In more than ten years of regular publication,
Crypto-Gram has become one of the most widely read forums for free-wheeling
discussions, pointed critiques, and serious debate about security. As head
curmudgeon at the table, Schneier explains, debunks, and draws lessons from
security stories that make the news.
 *About Jonathan Zittrain*

Jonathan Zittrain is Professor of
Law<http://www.law.harvard.edu/faculty/directory/index.html?id=106> at
Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Professor
of Computer Science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied
Sciences, and co-founder of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society.  His
research interests include battles for control of digital property and
content, cryptography, electronic privacy, the roles of intermediaries
within Internet architecture, human computing, and the useful and
unobtrusive deployment of technology in education.
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