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Bruce Schneier joins EFF Board of Directors (eff.org)
754 points by teawithcarl 1575 days ago | hide | past | web | 36 comments | favorite

Bruce Schneier is an incredible asset to the technology community. I think it's awesome that he's going to be on the board of the EFF.

Receiving an EFF Pioneer Award in 2007, his introduction alone describes why he is a perfect candidate. The audio for the speech is, thankfully, available in the Internet archive[1]. The introduction given by one of the EFF technologists is a wonderful description of how important Bruce Schneier's contributions to technology and security really are, outside of his incredible cryptographic skills.

"Skilled in his exposition of ideas about security."

Bruce's ability to explain, in clear terms, what is or isn't wrong about particular systems is amazing. Whenever there's some sort of technological thing going on in the world, security related, Bruce's blog[2] is often one of the first place I go to.

"Made people aware of the context in which security happens. The context in which security measures exist … the political context, the economic context, the psychological context, the social context in which security really happens or often doesn't happen."

This is an incredibly valuable and necessary outlook on security in this day and age. The world needs more people who are aware of security, not as just some thing that you do, but really as a mindset and thing that you really have to wrap your head around.

"Worked really hard to demystify security. To help people think clearly about what really works and doesn't work."

"Emphasis and insistence that security is not an objective thing but is relative to the observer. That it's always from someone's perspective."

"You don't just have security as this thing that's out there, but security has a kind of political dimension, that you need to have a prior notion of what kinds of actions are appropriate and what kinds of actions are warranted."

I couldn't think of a more appropriate and equipped individual to help the EFF at this time in our history.

[1] - http://archive.org/details/Bruce_Schneier_EFF_Pioneer_Awards...

[2] - http://www.schneier.com

>Author and Critic Deepens EFF's Security Expertise as NSA Scandal Intensifies

Great news - I've read a couple of really interesting articles that Schneier's put out in recent weeks - but is the scandal actually intensifying? I'm afraid somebody is going to need to fill me in on the current state of the reaction from the public/media at large; I tend to lock myself in a filter bubble of news relevant to my interests.

Yup, lots of more information keeps coming out, you just have to know where to keep up with it. Here's a great source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/the-nsa-files

Awesome, great link, wasn't aware of that. I've just been following Greenwald's twitter account directly. But my comment was referring to the public's/media's reaction to the story, rather than your and my increasing knowledge of the situation.

The media prefers to attack Snowden (or Greenwald) personally, and not talk about PRISM or the NSA at all.


I get the impression that the scandal is focused on Snowden (and his whereabouts) rather than on mass collection of data. But this is just my opinion.

I believe you're right. Almost every article with NSA in the headline that I've seen also has Snowden, or Ecuador, or Russia.

So basically, your point about the focus being drawn away from the NSA itself seems correct to me.

I think Snowden and the NSA spying he brought to light are independent and very important issues, and we should try hard not to lose sight of either. The latter for reasons that I assume are obvious; the former because, as I've said elsewhere (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5953059) whistleblowers are a very important check against abuses, and we need to protect them.

Let's get together and turn some talk into action: http://www.meetup.com/Hack-Government-Bay-Area

That's certainly what the US media is reporting on.

Here's a better source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/the-nsa-files

> I tend to lock myself in a filter bubble of news relevant to my interests

Maybe you should use DuckDuckGo [1].

[1] http://dontbubble.us/

DuckDuckGo avoids the 'Google' bubble, which happens when the search engine tailors results based on what it thinks you want. Even with engines that do not do this, you still can easily form a bubble by biases in what search terms you use, and in what sources you choose to look at.

This is my problem. I get most of my technology (and recently the NSA stuff) news from HN, some current events from NPR, and then a couple other politics sites I frequent which I'd rather not divulge ;)

I recently stopped watching everyone on MSNBC but Chris Hayes. He has a great show. He's had Greenwald on a couple times in the past few weeks. Also, Democracy Now! is really great. One of the only programs on TV that talks about Wikileaks and Manning on a semi-regular basis.

Not Fox "News" I hope ;-)

He's in good company:

In addition to Schneier, EFF's Board of Directors includes John Perry Barlow, Brian Behlendorf, John Buckman, Lorrie Cranor, David Farber, John Gilmore, Brewster Kahle, Pam Samuelson, Brad Templeton, and Jonathan Zittrain.

Barlow and Gilmore are the EFF founders, along with Mitch Kapor who hasn't been that active for quite a while.

The juxtaposition of Zittrain and Schneier caught my eye because I once saw them on opposite sides of a cybersecurity debate. Zittrain sat with former NSA head Mike McConnell and argued that the threat of cyberwar had not been exaggerated. Schneier and another privacy expert argued that it had been exaggerated.

The subtext of the argument was the degree to which the national security apparatus should take the lead on U.S. cybersecurity, vs. domestic agencies like DHS or law enforcement like the FBI. Schneier argued that the "threat" of cyberwar was being pumped up by the defense agencies and industries to help justify greater power and contracts.

I'd totally vote for a Lessig/Schneier ticket in 2016. One would clean up the political disaster, the other the "security" nightmare...

If there was even the possibility that Lessig would run, I would quit my job, dump my savings, and find SOME way to be a part of that.

This feels like a move towards the mainstream for EFF.

I have a sneaking suspicion this is the beginning of a gradual recognition of orgnaisations like EFF in having a voice in regular politics. Not a big one perhaps, but being at the table.

I have a lot of respect for Bruce, but I am not sure what this has to do with a "move towards the mainstream." This seems like a move "to ensure that the board has competent security guidance." As far as "regular politics" goes, I hope they stay away from regular politics. I want the EFF solely involved in tech policy issues. Does Schneier have a big political background?

Bruce fairly regularly gets articles published in mainstream news sources. I'd say he brings more of that to the table than the EFF has already.

Professor Zittrain has also published editorials in major news sources. The NYT search page returns 7 more resources for Bruce. (397/390).

Ah, so he does. I wasn't aware.

As far as tech policy goes it is hard to find a job with more mainstream visibility than "law professor at Harvard with a focus on tech policy."

It's not hard: CEO of Google.

Having said that, you're right in that there are not very many such jobs.

Step 2 is setting up a (legitimate) PAC and harness the collective donation power of the internet population.

How would that be any different than it is today for the "Internet population".

If anything they'd use the PAC to get money from large donors (in the millions of dollars).

Well, right now the closest thing is Reddit's PAC (http://www.reddit.com/r/rpac) which is primarily focused on net neutrality.

By phase 2 I just meant it would be really beneficial to get a formal (EFF sponsored or not) political action committee focused primarily on internet users' rights.

Schneier sounds like a perfect fit for an organization like the EFF. I hope that with his help they will be able to do even more good.

That is good news, and reminded me to go to eff.org and invest some money in our future via a donation.

I try to read everything that Bruce Schneier writes on security, politics, and policy.

Bruce is awesome and has been writing amazing stuff for years! He contributed to one of my favorite fictional books, the cryptonomicon with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solitaire_%28cipher%29

Also whenever he comes up you have to visit: http://www.schneierfacts.com/facts/top

This can only be good news.

Wow, a great boon for the EFF. Congratulations!

/sc2 Hell, it's about time


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