Tuesday, February 5, 2008

FxS = k?

Subject: FxS = k?

Bruce Schneier on security tradeoffs:

"I'm sure they have that saying ['Privacy and security are a zero-sum game'] in their business. And it's precisely why, when people in their business are in charge of government, it becomes a police state. If privacy and security really were a zero-sum game, we would have seen mass immigration into the former East Germany and modern-day China. While it's true that police states like those have less street crime, no one argues that their citizens are fundamentally more secure....

"The debate isn't security versus privacy. It's liberty versus control....

"If you set up the false dichotomy, of course people will choose security over privacy -- especially if you scare them first. But it's still a false dichotomy. There is no security without privacy. And liberty requires both security and privacy. The famous quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin reads: "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." It's also true that those who would give up privacy for security are likely to end up with neither."

I don't always agree with Schneier on the importance of privacy, but he's always worth listening to.


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