The feature this week is an interview with Bruce Schneier. The catalyst for this conversation is a post on his blog that frames out some of the themes he has been considering for his next book. Among other things, we refer to Rebecca Mackinnon’s book and Kevin Kelly’s most recent book in the course of the conversation.
Bruce Schneier, author and security guru, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about power and the internet. Schneier argues that the internet enhances the power of the powerless but it also enhances the power of the powerful. He argues that we should be worried about both corporate and government uses of the internet to enhance their power. Recorded before news of the PRISM system and the use of Verizon’s customer information by the NSA (National Security Agency), Schneier presciently worries about government surveillance that we are not aware of and explains how governments—democratic and totalitarian—can use the internet to oppress their citizens. The conversation closes with a discussion of terrorism and the costs of the current system for reducing the probability of a terrorist attack.