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Feed Schneier: Walls Around Nations (schneier.com)

A political history of walls: Roman walls such as Hadrian's Wall, the Great Wall of China, the Berlin Wall, and the wall between Mexico and the U.S. Moral: they solve the wrong problem....

Feed Schneier: My Fellowship at the Berkman Center (schneier.com)

I have been awarded a fellowship at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, for the 2013–2014 academic year. I'm excited about this; Berkman and Harvard is where a lot of the cool kids hang out, and I'm looking forward to working with them this coming year. In particular, I have three goals for the year: I...

Feed Schneier: F2P Monetization Tricks (schneier.com)

This is a really interesting article about something I never even thought about before: how games ("F2P" means "free to play") trick players into paying for stuff. For example: This is my favorite coercive monetization technique, because it is just so powerful. The technique involves giving the player some really huge reward, that makes them really happy, and then threatening...

Feed Schneier: More NSA Code Names (schneier.com)

We don't know what they mean, but there are a bunch of NSA code names on LinkedIn profiles. ANCHORY, AMHS, NUCLEON, TRAFFICTHIEF, ARCMAP, SIGNAV, COASTLINE, DISHFIRE, FASTSCOPE, OCTAVE/CONTRAOCTAVE, PINWALE, UTT, WEBCANDID, MICHIGAN, PLUS, ASSOCIATION, MAINWAY, FASCIA, OCTSKYWARD, INTELINK, METRICS, BANYAN, MARINA...

Feed Schneier: Musing on Secret Languages (schneier.com)

This is really interesting. It starts by talking about a "cant" dictionary of 16th-century thieves' argot, and ends up talking about secret languages in general. Incomprehension breeds fear. A secret language can be a threat: signifier has no need of signified in order to pack a punch. Hearing a conversation in a language we don't speak, we wonder whether we’re...

Feed Schneier: The Effectiveness of Privacy Audits (schneier.com)

This study concludes that there is a benefit to forcing companies to undergo privacy audits: "The results show that there are empirical regularities consistent with the privacy disclosures in the audited financial statements having some effect. Companies disclosing privacy risks are less likely to incur a breach of privacy related to unintentional disclosure of privacy information; while companies suffering a...

Feed Schneier: Another Perspective on the Value of Privacy (schneier.com)

A philosophical perspective: But while Descartes's overall view has been rightly rejected, there is something profoundly right about the connection between privacy and the self, something that recent events should cause us to appreciate. What is right about it, in my view, is that to be an autonomous person is to be capable of having privileged access (in the two...

Feed Schneier: Big Data Surveillance Results in Bad Policy (schneier.com)

Evgeny Morozov makes a point about surveillance and big data: it just looks for useful correlations without worrying about causes, and leads people to implement "fixes" based simply on those correlations -- rather than understanding and correcting the underlying the causes. As the media academic Mark Andrejevic points out in Infoglut, his new book on the political implications of information...

Feed Schneier: Protecting E-Mail from Eavesdropping (schneier.com)

In the wake of the Snowden NSA documents, reporters have been asking me whether encryption can solve the problem. Leaving aside the fact that much of what the NSA is collecting can't be encrypted by the user -- telephone metadata, e-mail headers, phone calling records, e-mail you're reading from a phone or tablet or cloud provider, anything you post on...

Feed Schneier: How Apple Continues to Make Security Invisible (schneier.com)

Interesting article: Apple is famously focused on design and human experience as their top guiding principles. When it comes to security, that focus created a conundrum. Security is all about placing obstacles in the way of attackers, but (despite the claims of security vendors) those same obstacles can get in the way of users, too. [...] For many years, Apple...

Feed Schneier: Sixth Movie-Plot Threat Contest Winner (schneier.com)

On April 1, I announced the Sixth Mostly-Annual Movie-Plot Threat Contest: For this year's contest, I want a cyberwar movie-plot threat. (For those who don't know, a movie-plot threat is a scare story that would make a great movie plot, but is much too specific to build security policy around.) Not the Chinese attacking our power grid or shutting off...

Feed Schneier: Is Cryptography Engineering or Science? (schneier.com)

Responding to a tweet by Thomas Ptacek saying, "If you're not learning crypto by coding attacks, you might not actually be learning crypto," Colin Percival published a well-thought-out rebuttal, saying in part: If we were still in the 1990s, I would agree with Thomas. 1990s cryptography was full of holes, and the best you could hope for was to know...

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