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Bruce Schneier speaks


Bruce Schneier, an extremely well known security and cryptography expert, <a href="">examines ways</a> of preventing future attacks and debunks several proposals by the U.S. government as placatives without real merit. <span class="quote"><q>Computer security experts have a lot of expertise that can be applied to the real world. First and foremost, we have well-developed senses of what security looks like. We can tell the difference between real security and snake oil. And the new airport security rules, put in place after September 11, look and smell a whole lot like snake oil.</q></span> In particular, the measures taken at airports don't hold up to analysis and are obviously the motions of a bureaucracy desperate to appear as if it's doing something. <span class="quote"><q>All the warning signs are there: new and unproven security measures, no real threat analysis, unsubstantiated security claims. The ban on cutting instruments is a perfect example. It's a knee-jerk reaction: the terrorists used small knives and box cutters, so we must ban them. And nail clippers, nail files, cigarette lighters, scissors (even small ones), tweezers, etc. But why isn't anyone asking the real questions: what is the threat, and how does turning an airplane into a kindergarten classroom reduce the threat? If the threat is hijacking, then the countermeasure doesn't protect against all the myriad of ways people can subdue the pilot and crew. Hasn't anyone heard of karate? Or broken bottles? Think about hiding small blades inside luggage. Or composite knives that don't show up on metal detectors.</q></span> Make sure to check out the <a href="">latest issue of Counterpane: Crypto-gram</a> for the full story.