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Nov 05 2013

Bruce Schneier is blessed in his enemies

A critic calls out Schneier on CNN iReports. He thinks Scheier is a phony with no serious credentials, and doesn’t like all this criticism of the NSA. He also detests irony, I think.

Weeks of research regarding Mr. Schneier’s claims have highlighted one of the most frustrating problems with the internet age. Because virtually anyone lacking serious journalistic credentials can, and often does, write or post freely on any subject, the resulting sheer volume of information available may lead people to believe that the reporting is even-handed and well-researched. Unfortunately, in many circumstances nothing can be farther from the truth.

The title of this scathing indictment of allowing any ol’ wanker to post stuff on the web? Public shoud qestion Schneier, Snowden and NSA. Spelling exactly as presented on the web page.

19 comments

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  1. 1
    David Wilford

    I’m… laughing my ass off.

  2. 2
    Muz

    That’s a weird article.
    The by-line goes to someone called JacquesTetu, but is then credited to someone called Richard H.L. Marshall.
    This guy appears to be a serious security guy, but the article is gibberish and the author can’t form a sentence let alone code a link. And then the links seem to be mostly about him calling out Schneier for criticising “his” cryptography system (I think. I skimmed quickly).

    If it is him he appears to be a cranky security woo salesman with an axe to grind coz Bruce gave short shrift to his miracle cure.

  3. 3
    Marcus Ranum

    What are “journalistic credentials”? Does Bruce’s incredibly popular and insightful blog count? Or how about his very popular textbooks such as “Applied Cryptography” and “Secrets and Lies”? Bruce has an excellent reputation in the security arena because he learns, explains, teaches, and even occasionally updates his opinion. He’s been a good advocate and spokesperson (though I think he’s often too nice) for security.

    I didn’t know that Bruce was fond of Voltaire’s prayer, but it does seem to have been granted in this case.

  4. 4
    skeptico

    Unfortunately, in many circumstances nothing can be farther from the truth.

    You would think that someone with “serious journalistic credentials” would know that the correct word to use here is “further.”

    http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/further-versus-farther

  5. 5
    timberwoof

    This is a sort of ad-hominem praise of Bruce Schneier: the TSA managed to get him disinvited from testifying before Congress about the TSA.

    Schneier is the guy who a decade ago pointed out that the security checkpoints the TSA set up at airports are not secure and are prime targets for terrorism. The TSA ignored him, to completely predictable, tragic results in LA the other day. And now the TSA will ramp up their security theater with more reactionary measures that won’t prevent the problem.

    The article was itself exactly the kind of self-promotion it accuses Schneier’s blog of being, and then goes on to justify the TSA and other agencies overreaching their mandates. Mister Kettle…

    The article has been flagged as inappropriate and techdirt.com has a rebuttal. There is some hope… 

  6. 6
    CaitieCat, getaway driver

    Schneier has taught me a lot about ways to make myself actually more secure, with a lot less security theatre and a lot more effectiveness. Are there things he might do better? Probably. But I’m fairly sure he’s not running for Pope, so his infallibility isn’t an issue for me. I assume that he’s human, and will make a mistake or two, even in the fields he knows so well. I seek to apply the principles he proposes, rather than assuming that every word about an implementation thereof is going to become gospel-worthy.

  7. 7
    MetzO'Magic

    Yep, Schneier is someone whose opinion weighs heavily with me when it comes to security. Copy of Applied Cryptography sitting right there above me on the shelf too. And let’s just say I’m not too shabby at the programming game myself. Been doing it since 1974, and just *might* know a thing or two ;-)

  8. 8
    numerobis

    The author’s sock puppet was registered Nov 5, 2013 (aka today) and just earned its “first post” badge.

    How did this bubble up to being important enough to waste anyone’s time?

  9. 9
    grumpyoldfart

    Not important. Funny.

  10. 10
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Muz:

    he appears to be a cranky security woo salesman with an axe to grind

    Bingo! It seems to have started here. 10 years of crankdom; impressive!

  11. 11
    leper

    That’s definitely the most inept ad-hominem attack I’ve seen in a while: Create a sock-puppet account on a CNN blog (using the name of a character from a fictional novel you’ve written), then post a factually incorrect and barely coherent rant with links back to your company’s website all over it. All because your target called your magical crypto product snake-oil ten years ago.

    Considering that the authors are the executives of Whitenoise Labs, they’ve just created their own PR disaster by demonstrating their inability to understand blogging, the internet, journalism, or journalistic integrity in a delightful example of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

  12. 12
    Vicki, duly vaccinated tool of the feminist conspiracy

    Also, Bruce would agree that people should question what he writes. Look at it, see if it makes sense, decide whether you want to act on it even if you do believe it. He actually publishes cryptographic algorithms, for example.

    What this person means isn’t “question,” it’s “disbelieve on my say-so.” Sorry. Not going to happen, even if I had never met Bruce in person.

  13. 13
    crocodoc

    Some people obviously have a severe problem with the message of Schneier’s book “liars and outliers”. A thriving society must be built on mutual trust, not on unfettered control by a couple of ruthless surveillance freaks. Otherwise it will break down. I cannot recommend this book enough.

  14. 14
    Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD

    You might want to fix the Scheier though.

    But yes, we need to build societies where we can trust people because they have been brought up to be trustworthy in mist cases. Going to take a while though.

  15. 15
    echidna

    crocodoc,
    Thanks for the tip. It’s pretty much top of my to-read list now.

  16. 16
    Amateur

    Looks like CNN’s, write-your-own-news, “iReport”, is really working out, eh?

  17. 17
    anuran

    Mr. Schneier should read William Blake

    Listen to the fools reproach! it is a kingly title!

    from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

  18. 18
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Currently on the verge of wetting myself with laughter :) That is fantastic.

  19. 19
    ianmclaughlin

    Ha, the article byline calls the Edward Snowden “Eric Snowden”.

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