GoogleIt Mail IT Print IT PermaLinkMust Read: Bruce Schneier's Post 9-11 Writings
11:18:13 PM

Bruce Schneier reposted links today to an essay he wrote on 15 September 2001, and to his Crypto-Gram newsletter from 30 September 2001. If you missed them back then, or if it's just been a while, they are both well worth reading today. The essay in particular, though short, and written in the immediacy of the first few days of reaction, is particularly impressive in what it foretells of what would happen, and what it warns about what has in fact been happening. Here's an excerpt:


We live in a world where nation states are not the only institutions which wield power. International bodies, corporations, non-governmental organizations, pan-national ethnicities, and disparate political groups all have the ability to affect the world in an unprecedented manner. As we adjust to this new reality, it is important that we don't become the very forces we abhor. I consider the terrorist attacks on September 11th to be an attack against America's ideals. If our freedoms erode because of those attacks, then the terrorists have won.


This is no partisan political screed. Schneier is not a politician or a political analyst. He is a world-class expert on computer and information security. He wrote these pieces without knowing any more about what would transpire in US politics in the months and years following 9-11 than you or I did. Four days afterward, he could not and did not foretell which politicians or parties would be the most eager to jump on the bandwagon of "snake oil" security. He did not know which politicians or parties would prevail in elections in 2002 and 2004. He did not know which politicians or parties would be most zealously effective in advancing a post 9-11 agenda that reduced liberty. Part of being a world-class expert on seucrity, though, is knowing a thing or two about people and how they act, and clearly Schneier has that nailed.

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