IT Conversations: Bruce Schneier

One of my favourite sites,, has an audio interview with Bruce Schneier.

“Bruce Schneier is an internationally renowned security technologist and author. Described by The Economist as a “security guru,” Schneier 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.” (from his own web site,

The interview is one of the best on so far, IMHO. Bruce has lots of things to say that make you think about where the world is heading.


“This is, I think, really important. I just did a hearing two days ago on Capitol Hill about CAPS II, about airline profiling, and one of the things I’m always struck with is how good we are at defending against what the terrorists did last year. We’re spending a lot of money shoring up our airlines, we’re now talking about shoring up trains. And money that we spend that simply causes the bad guys to change their tactics is money wasted.

“You have a red and a blue door, and the terrorists go through the red door, and you say, “We must secure the red door,” so they go through the blue door the next time. What did you actually buy?””

“more people are killed every year by pigs than by sharks, which shows just how good we are at evaluating risks.”

“You wrote that 2,978 people in the US died from the terrorism in 2001, but 3,454 — that’s more people — died from malnutrition in that same year.”

“We are spending $200 billion, that’s the number I hear as the estimate when all is said and done, to invade Iraq. Are we $200 billion safer because of it? That’s the real question to ask. Not, “Was it a good idea?” not, “How bad was Saddam Hussein?” but, “As security consumers, did we get our money’s worth?””

“Did you ever wonder why tweezers were confiscated at security checkpoints, but matches and cigarettes lighters, actual combustible materials, were not? If the tweezers’ lobby had more power, I am sure they would have been allowed on board as well.”

Brilliant guy – I can only hope more people are reading this.

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