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Schneier on Security: Essays Tagged San Francisco Chronicle

Schneier on Security

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Essays Tagged “San Francisco Chronicle”

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Fixing Intelligence Failures

  • Bruce Schneier
  • San Francisco Chronicle
  • January 15, 2010

President Obama in his speech last week rightly focused on fixing the intelligence failures that resulted in Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab being ignored, rather than on technologies targeted at the details of his underwear-bomb plot. But while Obama's instincts are right, reforming intelligence for this new century and its new threats is a more difficult task than he might like.

We don't need new technologies, new laws, new bureaucratic overlords, or - for heaven's sake - new agencies. What prevents information sharing among intelligence organizations is the culture of the generation that built those organizations.

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On Police Security Cameras

Wholesale Surveillance

  • Bruce Schneier
  • San Francisco Chronicle
  • January 16, 2007

San Francisco police have a new law enforcement tool: a car-mounted license-plate scanner. Similar to a radar gun, it reads the license plates of moving or parked cars -- 250 or more per hour -- and links with remote police databases, immediately providing information about the car and its owner. Right now, the police check for unpaid parking tickets. A car that comes up positive on the database is booted.

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Getting Out the Vote

Why is it so hard to run an honest election?

  • Bruce Schneier
  • San Francisco Chronicle
  • October 31, 2004

Four years after the Florida debacle of 2000 and two years after Congress passed the Help America Vote Act, voting problems are again in the news: confusing ballots, malfunctioning voting machines, problems over who's registered and who isn't. All this brings up a basic question: Why is it so hard to run an election?

A fundamental requirement for a democratic election is a secret ballot, and that's the first reason. Computers regularly handle multimillion-dollar financial transactions, but much of their security comes from the ability to audit the transactions after the fact and correct problems that arise.

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IDs and the Illusion of Security

  • Bruce Schneier
  • San Francisco Chronicle
  • February 3, 2004

German translation

In recent years there has been an increased use of identification checks as a security measure. Airlines always demand photo IDs, and hotels increasingly do so. They're often required for admittance into government buildings, and sometimes even hospitals. Everywhere, it seems, someone is checking IDs. The ostensible reason is that ID checks make us all safer, but that's just not so.

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Photo of Bruce Schneier by Per Ervland.

Schneier on Security is a personal website. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of IBM Resilient.