IT, Security, and Power
Bruce Schneier & Jonathan Zittrain in conversation
April 4, 6:00pm ET
Langdell Hall South, 272 Kirkland and Ellis Classroom
From Bruce Schneier:
What I've Been Thinking About
I have been thinking about the Internet and power: 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 for both government and corporate purposes — aided by cloud computing, social networking, and Internet-enabled everything — resulting in a world without any real privacy.
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 that leaves users with little control over their data or computing platforms, forcing them to trust the companies that sell the hardware, software, and systems.
On the one hand, we need new regimes of trust in the information age. (I wrote about the extensively in my most recent book, Liars and Outliers.) On the other hand, the risks associated with increasing technology 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.
Phi Beta Iota: Not only within the USA, but around the world, a battle for the soul of humanity is underway. On one side stand unethical Industrial-Era governments and corporations dedicated to maintaining their power and their privileges at any cost; on the other side stands humanity in the aggregate, seeking to liberate itself from artificial constraints and create a prosperous world at peace, a world that works for all. Humanity will win, but it will be ugly for a quarter century. The adoption of Open Source Everything and M4IS2 will accelerate the constructive change to a new world disorder in which the intelligence and the integrity are with the crowd.