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Is Bruce Schneier Leaving His Job At BT? 96

Posted by samzenpus
from the parting-ways dept.
hawkinspeter writes "The Register is hosting an exclusive that Bruce Schneier will be leaving his position at BT as security futurologist. From the article: 'News of the parting of the ways reached El Reg via a leaked internal email. Our source suggested that Schneier was shown the door because of his recent comments about the NSA and GCHQ's mass surveillance activities.'"
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Is Bruce Schneier Leaving His Job At BT?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 16, 2013 @01:57PM (#45705459)

    I DON'T KNOW

  • Speak Your Mind (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 16, 2013 @02:01PM (#45705513)

    It's OK to speak your mind ... just make sure your resume is up-to-date before hand.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 16, 2013 @02:21PM (#45705741)

      Dude, this is Bruce Schneier we're talking about. If his resume ever gets out of date, he just generates a block of random bits, decrypts it using the infinite one time pad he memorized in grade school, and voila: an up to date resume.

      • "Dude, this is Bruce Schneier we're talking about. If his resume ever gets out of date, he just generates a block of random bits, decrypts it using the infinite one time pad he memorized in grade school, and voila: an up to date resume."

        But this brings up: what did they expect from him?

        If discussing the NSA and GCHQ was something they didn't want, why the hell did they hire Bruce Schneier? OP strongly suggests that BT doesn't know what the hell it's doing anyway.

        • by utkonos (2104836)
          BT never hired him. They acquired a company that he founded and was still working for at the time of the acquisition.
    • by Sir_Sri (199544)

      Honestly, I suspect BT figured they could get everything they actually want from him for free from his security blog or with occasional contracts, particularly if he's willing to take up an academic or otherwise similarly public gig where his main work and discussion all ends up public anyway.

      He can probably make a lot more money running around collecting speaking fees than BT would want to pay him.

    • by rastos1 (601318)
      Bruce Schneier is one of the guys who all they need on the resume is the name.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    We're back to the wild west days of the early Internet. Nothing is secure and new strategies will have to be devised for a model that assumes that no part of a network connection is secure, both in hardware and software. Remember software bloat? Welcome to encryption bloat.

    • by ganjadude (952775)
      That is a great way of looking at it indeed. Those of us in the early days of WWW can remember when sites with logins would put your user name and password in plain text in the browser address bar, I rememeber being 15 or so and when you would log into a website the info was just out in the open, with info like this you could easily find other peoples info. Now its really no different except for the people cant see it as clearly but the unethical hackers, AKA the NSA can gather it all
    • by mlts (1038732)

      I wouldn't say we are back to the wild west days. It is just the fact that the foundations made with wood and llama dung have started to crumble, and it is time to move to more solid building materials.

      I fear encryption bloat. There was (and is) a lot of crap out there when it came to encryption, be it using AES 256 like triple DES to have 768 bits of key space, except the encryption passphrase was just stored as a MD5 hash, to advertising use of "4096 bit keys", which were really sixty-four 64-bit RSA ke

      • by plover (150551)

        A 70 bit asymmetric key is just as trivial as a 64 bit key - keylength.com won't even calculate an asymmetric key shorter than 384 bits, which it equates to 56 bit DES in 1981. I'm guessing based on the 24-graphics-card hash cracker's capabilities that he could factor this number in well under 1 second.

    • Welcome to encryption bloat.

      We have fast CPU's, so the encryption itself is fast enough, but watch out for CryptoEndpointFactoryFactoryFactories.

      And always use a popular shared library - you're no good at writing secure code.

  • by mysidia (191772) on Monday December 16, 2013 @02:13PM (#45705645)

    Translation: His contract to remain on, after the acquisition ran out.

    He may have been the CTO of counterpane, but not enough room for two CTOs of BT after the acquisition.

    Naturally, the CTO of the acquirer would normally keep the position.

  • Makes Sense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fermion (181285) on Monday December 16, 2013 @02:15PM (#45705673) Homepage Journal
    IIRC, when Schneier sold his company to BT one of the stipulations is that he run Crypto-Gram separate from the company. Up until then the newsletter was essentially published as part of company. BT did not any confusion that the opinions in Cryto-Gram were in any related to BT. So schneier.com was founded.

    The other day he posted a story about how the existence of a security threat, even if is not exploited, creates mistrust. So given we know that the NSA and GCHQ are spying, we are naturally suspicious of BT, even if they are not part of the spying. Now if they are ejecting a person critical of the spying, we are even more suspicious, even if they are not doing anything wrong.

    • by jimicus (737525)

      In which case, it makes a lot of sense from Schneier's point of view to leave. Why would you want to hang around a company that's so heavily tainted when your entire CV is based on your being a guru in the field of security?

    • even if they are not doing anything wrong.

      Given that "better safe than sorry" is wise advice in protecting yourself (so long as the safety doesn't infringe liberty), we now can't allow any secrets. We default to the natural scientific skepticism: Prove you are not doing anything wrong, otherwise a person has no evidence to found their trust. Conversely, due to the cybernetic nature of a citizen's position within a larger construct, the governments and corporations must instead assume the inverse hypothesis: Prove they component is doing something

      • Brilliant point about corporate and government secrecy and power. I've thought for a while (inspired by the book "Honest Business" by a founder of MasterCard) that an innovation in corporate law would be to insist corporations have no right to privacy or internal secrecy. Makes me think of the "Culture" series where AIs can keep their thoughts private, but all databanks and communications are public (although when an AI "Mind" runs a world-sized ship as a de-facto government, perhaps there are some issues

    • +we are naturally suspicious of BT, even if they are not part of the spying+

      Oh yes they are part of the spying. BT have always been and still are totally interlaced with the UK government, the UK military, and GCHQ. This is one of the times that "natural suspicion" is totally justified.
  • I have just received the 3rd copy of his December newsletter - all to the one email address that he has for me. I don't know what is happening.

    • by lxs (131946)

      the first is from Bruce, the second is from the CIA replicant sent to replace him, the third is a glitch caused by the NSA wiretap.

    • by amorsen (7485)

      Haven't you noticed that some of the spaces in the second and third copy are replaced by U+2002 EN SPACE or U+205F MEDIUM MATHEMATICAL SPACE?

      Try making a diff and decoding the changes in trinary, you will find a secret note only for you.

      • by gmhowell (26755)

        Haven't you noticed that some of the spaces in the second and third copy are replaced by U+2002 EN SPACE or U+205F MEDIUM MATHEMATICAL SPACE?

        Try making a diff and decoding the changes in trinary, you will find a secret note only for you.

        Mine just said "Be sure to drink your ovaltine."

  • Any good team of futurologists could have predicted his departure.
  • No.

    Maybe someone should rewrite the headline, since the question mark at the end makes it sound much more fictitious than it actually looks to be.

    • by hawkinspeter (831501) on Monday December 16, 2013 @03:16PM (#45706373)
      Funnily enough, I submitted this with a different headline. I went with "Bruce Schneier is leaving his job at BT" and put the following (shorter) summary:

      "The Register is hosting an exclusive that Bruce Schneier (the famed cryptologist http://www.schneierfacts.com/ [schneierfacts.com] ) will be leaving his position at BT as security futurologist."

      Looks like the editors wanted to change it around a bit.

      • by hubie (108345)
        No, there were two submissions, yours and this one by samzenpus. Evidently this got picked over yours. I voted this one down in the submissions area because of the annoying question mark.
        • I see. It's confusing that it's got my name in the summary.
          • by hubie (108345)
            No, my mistake. I mistook samzepus as the submitter, not the editor. You are correct. However, I did see two Schneier-related posts in the submissions section. Sorry for the confusion, and you are right, it looks like your original title was altered.
          • by hubie (108345)
            Click on the "submissions" link in the upper-left margin, and then click "older" and you'll see your original submission there.
            • by Larryish (1215510)

              The Slashdot editors suck a big pair of balls that look vaguely like the fuzzy dice that hang from the rear-view mirror of a rusted-out '57 Chevy.

              Caveat emptor.

      • by formfeed (703859)

        Funnily enough, I submitted this with a different headline. I went with "Bruce Schneier is leaving his job at BT" and put the following (shorter) summary:

        "The Register is hosting an exclusive that Bruce Schneier (the famed cryptologist http://www.schneierfacts.com/ [schneierfacts.com] ) will be leaving his position at BT as security futurologist."

        Looks like the editors wanted to change it around a bit ?

        Here, fixed that for you.

      • See? That's the big difference (that little hook at the end). Posing the article as a question, you get the benefit of having a scoop (OMFG!!! Bruce the Schneier got fired by the NSA) as far as Slashdot's second-hand stories go, while not getting burned if the story turns out to be false (duh, Bruce isn't leaving).

      • by Xest (935314)

        Given that The Register is actually wrong about at least 90% of things it says then the Slashdot heading and summary are for once probably more correct.

  • If we can trust Betteridge's law of headlines [wikipedia.org], the answer is no, he is not leaving, and yes, a headline in the form of a question does not sound like proper news. Even for nerds. And especially for stuff that matters.
  • I don't think he'll have a problem getting a new job

    • How about head of the TSA?

      • by Larryish (1215510)

        I have seen Bruce. He does not look to have been raised on a diet of microwave-oven-food and candy, therefore he is not qualified to work for the TSA.

        Carry on.

    • by mysidia (191772)

      I don't think he'll have a problem getting a new job

      Probably not. His mailbox is probably about to be hit with big important companies sending their company's resumes in, to ask if he has an opening to work with them.

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