Skip to the main content

Bruce Schneier is an internationally renowned security technologist, called a "security guru" by the Economist. He is the New York Times best-selling author of 14 books -- including A Hacker's Mind -- as well as hundreds of articles, essays, and academic papers. His influential newsletter Crypto-Gram and blog Schneier on Security are read by over 250,000 people. Schneier is a fellow at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, a board member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and AccessNow, and an advisory board member of EPIC and VerifiedVoting.org. He is the Chief of Security Architecture at Inrupt, Inc. 


Publications

Publication
Feb 11, 2016

A Worldwide Survey of Encryption Products

In this paper, which is modeled on a similar effort in 1999 by researchers from George Washington University, Berkman Fellow Bruce Schneier and collaborator Kathleen Seidel…

Publication
Feb 1, 2016

Don't Panic: Making Progress on the "Going Dark" Debate

This report from the Berkman Center's Berklett Cybersecurity Project offers a new perspective on the "going dark" debate from the discussion, debate, and analyses of an…


News

Wired
Feb 6, 2019

There's No Good Reason to Trust Blockchain Technology

"The circumvention of trust is a great promise, but it’s just not true. Yes, bitcoin eliminates certain trusted intermediaries that are inherent in other payment systems like…

The Guardian
May 31, 2018

Data Protection Laws Are Shining a Needed Light on a Secretive Industry

In this article for The Guardian, Bruce Schneier describes some new data protection laws aimed to regulate data brokers.

Jun 8, 2015

Radio Berkman 218: The Threats and Tradeoffs of Big Data

A lot of personal information about you is completely invisible, intangible, and racing around cyberspace on a mission to pay your bills and geolocate your Facebook status. And,…

Nov 25, 2013

Meet members of the 2013-2014 Berkman Community: Bruce Schneier

This week we are featuring an interview with 2013-2014 Berkman Fellow, Bruce Schneier, as part of an ongoing series showcasing individuals in the Berkman community. Conducted by…

Jul 25, 2013

RB211: Bruce Schneier on Surveillance and Security

Bruce Schneier discusses the positives and perils of surveillance and privacy violation.


Community

Lawfare

Backdoor in XZ Utils That Almost Happened

Bruce Schneier writes about a recent potential cybersecurity catastrophe.

Apr 9, 2024
Communications of the ACM

In Memoriam: Ross Anderson, 1956-2024

Bruce Schneier memorializes Ross Anderson. "Ross was a pragmatic visionary. His mastery of both the technologies and the underlying policy issues…

Apr 8, 2024
MIT Technology Review

Let’s not make the same mistakes with AI that we made with social media

BKC Affiliates Nathan Sanders and Bruce Schneier argue that the unregulated evolution of social media over the past few decades provides lessons for the AI revolution.

Mar 13, 2024
Brookings Institute

How public AI can strengthen democracy

Nathan Sanders, Bruce Schneier, and Norman Eisen advocate for a public AI to counterbalance private AI and promote tech that benefits all people, not just corporate interests.

Mar 4, 2024
Jacobin

How the “Frontier” Became the Slogan of Uncontrolled AI

BKC Affiliates Nathan Sanders and Bruce Schneier argue that big tech uses the conception of AI as a new "frontier" to excuse exploitation and a lack of oversight or accountability.

Feb 27, 2024
LawFare

Building a Cyber Insurance Backstop Is Harder Than It Sounds

BKC Affiliate Bruce Schneier and Josephine Wolff describe the difficulties of forming a government back cybersecurity insurance backstop.

Feb 26, 2024
CyberScoop

CFPB’s proposed data rules would improve security, privacy and competition

Bruce Schneier writes about the CFPB's proposed data rules and its benefits.

Jan 24, 2024
The Atlantic

Don’t Talk to People Like They’re Chatbots

Bruce Schneier co-authors a piece in The Atlantic discussing human interactions and the impacts of AI on them.

Jan 17, 2024
WIRED

AI Needs to Be Both Trusted and Trustworthy

Bruce Schneier explains the need for a rethinking of trust and governance to prepare for the future of AI.

Jan 8, 2024
The Conversation

AI could improve your life by removing bottlenecks between what you want and what you get

Bruce Schneier writes about the potential for AI to remove bottlenecks.

Dec 21, 2023
Carr Center for Human Rights Policy

Making a Movement: The History and Future of Human Rights

BKC Faculty Director Jonathan Zittrain and BKC Affiliate Bruce Schneier contribute to the Carr Center's Making a Movement: The History and Future of Human Rights, a collection of…

Dec 11, 2023
Slate

The Internet Enabled Mass Surveillance. A.I. Will Enable Mass Spying.

BKC Affiliate Bruce Schneier argues that AI is on track to reduce spying's current limiting factor: the need for human labor.

Dec 4, 2023
Belfar Center

AI and Trust

BKC Affiliate Bruce Schneier discusses the complicated relationship between trust and AI and the need for building trustworthy AI.

Nov 27, 2023
Harvard Kennedy School Ash Center

Ten Ways AI Will Change Democracy

BKC Affiliate Bruce Schneier explores beyond AI generated disinformation to detail other novel ways in which AI might alter how democracy functions.

Nov 6, 2023
Harvard Kennedy School Ash Center

Who's accountable for AI usage in digital campaign ads? Right now, no one.

BKC Affiliates Bruce Schneier and Nathan Sanders explore the patchwork of organizations charged with regulating AI usage in political campaign ads.

Oct 11, 2023
The Atlantic

Robots Are Already Killing People

BKC Affiliate Bruce Schneier and Davi Ottenheimer discuss the need for regulation to enhance safety as robots become more advanced. 

Sep 6, 2023
WIRED

Nervous About ChatGPT? Try ChatGPT With a Hammer

BKC Affiliates Bruce Schneier and Nathan Sanders opine on the great power that AI will have once it is capable of using real-world tools and urge that companies and regulators…

Aug 29, 2023
The Conversation

Re-imagining democracy for the 21st century, possibly without the trappings of the 18th century

BKC Affiliate Bruce Schneier reflects on his workshop that brought together a wide variety of people to discuss the reimagination of democracy for the twenty-first century.

Aug 7, 2023
MIT Technology Review

Six ways that AI could change politics

BKC Affiliates Bruce Schneier and Nathan Sanders propose six milestones that will bring in a new era of AI driven democratic politics.

Jul 28, 2023
Government Technology

Can You Trust AI? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t

BKC Affiliates Bruce Schneier and Nathan Sanders write about the potential risks and biases of AI.

Jul 20, 2023
Slate

A.I. Microdirectives Could Soon Be Used for Law Enforcement

BKC Affiliate Bruce Schneier writes about the use of AI systems that is harming the most vulnerable society. 

Jul 17, 2023
Politico

Artificial Intelligence Can’t Work Without Our Data

BKC Affiliate Bruce Schneier and Barath Raghavan argue that the American people should receive compensation for their data, the very data that AI companies rely on to innovate.

Jun 29, 2023
Foreign Policy

Build AI by the People, for the People

BKC Affiliates Bruce Schneier and Nathan Sanders write about the need for AI investment to be taken out of the hands of private companies.

Jun 12, 2023
Slate

Big Tech Isn’t Prepared for A.I.’s Next Chapter

BKC Affiliate Bruce Schneier writes about the open-source future of generative AI.

May 30, 2023
GBH News

Legal questions surround Montana's TikTok ban

BKC Affiliate Bruce Schneier discusses the practical considerations of Montana's TikTok ban.

May 19, 2023
CyberScoop

Rethinking democracy for the age of AI

BKC Affiliate Bruce Schneier delivers a keynote speech during the RSA Conference in San Francisco on April 25, 2023 about the risks and promise of AI for democracy.

May 10, 2023
Gizmodo

Can We Build Trustworthy AI?

BKC Affiliates Nathan Sanders and Bruce Schneier write about the trustworthiness of AI technologies and their corporate owners.

May 4, 2023
The Atlantic

Just Wait Until Trump Is a Chatbot

BKC Affiliates Nathan Sanders and Bruce Schneier write about how AI will change the nature of campaigning.

Apr 28, 2023
Slate

How Artificial Intelligence Can Aid Democracy

BKC Affiliates Nathan Sanders and Bruce Schneier write about AI's potential to advance the public good by helping democracy.

Apr 21, 2023
WIRED

Brace Yourself for a Tidal Wave of ChatGPT Email Scams

BKC Affiliate Bruce Schneier predicts a future wave of email scams that will take advantage of generative AI.

Apr 4, 2023
MIT Technology Review

How AI could write our laws

BKC Affiliates Nathan Sanders and Bruce Schneier write about the potential influence of ChatGPT and generative AI on lobbying.

Mar 14, 2023
PBS NewsHour

Expert warns of AI tools’ potential threat to democracy

"Democracy is fundamentally a human way of organizing ourselves, and where an AI, whether it's a ChatGPT that is writing human text or another AI that is figuring out human…

Feb 4, 2023
The New York Times

How ChatGPT Hijacks Democracy

"So while it’s impossible to predict what a future filled with A.I. lobbyists will look like, it will probably make the already influential and powerful even more so." …

Jan 15, 2023
Foreign Policy

What TikTok Has On You

“We’re already used to tech companies having this enormous amount of access to our personal life. By extension, the U.S. government has that access, and so how do we feel about…

Jan 12, 2023
The Atlantic

How to Decarbonize Crypto

BKC Affiliate Bruce Schneier writes about decarbonizing crypto and the opportunity to curb its massive environmental impact…

Dec 6, 2022
The New York Times

The Uber Hack Exposes More Than Failed Data Security

BKC Fellow Bruce Schneier writes about the Uber hack. …

Sep 26, 2022
CNN

Elon Musk wants end-to-end encryption for Twitter DMs. It may not be that simple

Bruce Schneier discusses how end-to-end encryption could look for Twitter DMs. …

Apr 30, 2022
The Atlantic

Why COVID Vaccine Cards Are So Easily Forged

Cybersecurity expert Bruce Schneier explains that paper vaccine cards strike a good balance between ease and security.

Mar 8, 2022
Harvard Business Review

The Coming AI Hackers

Bruce Schneier is interviewed about the future of AI hacking.

Jun 9, 2021
Brookings

Hacked drones and busted logistics are the cyber future of warfare

In a post for Brookings, Bruce Schneier and colleague argue that cybersecurity vulnerabilities are a major part of warfare.

Jun 2, 2021
Johns Hopkins

Rechanneling Beliefs: How Information Flows Hinder or Help American Democracy

Bruce Schneier and colleague Henry Farrell published a new report via the Johns Hopkins Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

May 24, 2021
The Washington Post

‘Grassroots’ bot campaigns are coming. Governments don’t have a plan to stop them.

Bruce Schneier and colleague argue AI software can easily pass for real public comments

May 20, 2021
IEEE Spectrum

Bruce Schneier Wants You to Make Software Better

A profile of Bruce Schneier in IEEE Spectrum

Apr 28, 2021
Wired

Hackers Used to Be Humans. Soon, AIs Will Hack Humanity

Bruce Schneier says that AIs will grant our wishes, and then hack them, exploiting our social, political, and economic systems

Apr 19, 2021
The Belfer Center

The Coming AI Hackers

Paper from Bruce Schneier explores the implications of AI hackers

Apr 15, 2021
Wired

Bitcoin’s Greatest Feature Is Also Its Existential Threat

Bruce Schneier co-authors op ed on Bitcoin vulnerabilities

Mar 9, 2021
The New York Times

Why Was SolarWinds So Vulnerable to a Hack?

Bruce Schneier says the market economy played a significant role in the SolarWinds attack.

Feb 23, 2021
The Washington Post

The government will guard Biden’s Peloton from hackers. What about the rest of us?

Bruce Schneier says the security threat to worry about is the one facing the public, not the president

Feb 2, 2021
CNN

The SolarWinds hack is stunning. Here's what should be done

Bruce Schneier offers cybersecurity advice for responding to the SolarWinds attack.

Jan 5, 2021
The Guardian

The US has suffered a massive cyberbreach. It's hard to overstate how bad it is

In The Guardian, Bruce Schneier says the US must rethink its cybersecurity protocols

Dec 23, 2020
Foreign Policy

The Peril of Persuasion in the Big Tech Age

Persuasion is essential to society and democracy, but we need new rules governing how companies can harness it, argue Bruce Schneier and colleague

Dec 11, 2020
The New York Times

What Makes Trump’s Subversion Efforts So Alarming? His Collaborators

Trump and fellow Republicans are trying to dismantle beliefs in democracy, argue Bruce Schneier and Henry Farrell

Nov 23, 2020
HuffPost

Europe Proves Contact-Tracing Apps Aren’t A Coronavirus Cure-All

Bruce Schneier shares skepticism of contact tracing apps

Jul 23, 2020
The Atlantic

The Twitter Hacks Have to Stop

Bruce Schneier explains the recent Twitter hack

Jul 18, 2020
BKC Medium Collection

Legal Risks of Adversarial Machine Learning Research

Studying or testing the security of any operational system potentially runs afoul of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

Jul 15, 2020
Quartz

Bruce Schneier says we need to embrace inefficiency to save our economy

Bruce Schneier shares his prediction for the future with Quartz

Jun 30, 2020
CNN

Zoom responds to privacy backlash by giving all its users end-to-end encryption

Bruce Schneier talks end-to-end encryption with CNN

Jun 18, 2020
Bloomberg Quint

Surveillance Technology Will Only Get More Intense After Covid

Bruce Schneier on contact tracing apps:  “The smartphone is the most invasive surveillance device our species has ever invented. I don’t see what’s happening now…

Jun 2, 2020
CNN

How your passwords can end up for sale on the dark web

Bruce Schneier shares insight into password security

May 8, 2020
The Hill

Digital contact tracing is becoming available, but is it effective?

Bruce Schneier spoke to The Hill about the use of digital contact tracing.

May 7, 2020
Buzzfeed

An Entire City Has Been Told To Download A Controversial Contact Tracing App

Bruce Schneier shares his opinion on contact tracing apps

May 6, 2020
BuzzFeed News

Contact Tracing Is One Of Our Best Shots To Reopen The Country, If We Don't Blow It

Without enough human contact tracers to identify infected people, the US is barreling toward a digital solution, and possible disaster.

Apr 29, 2020
Medium

Politics of Adversarial Machine Learning

Adversarial machine-learning attacks and defenses have political dimensions

Apr 23, 2020
The Politic

An Interview with Bruce Schneier, Renowned Security Technologist

The BKC fellow discusses cryptography with The Politic

Apr 1, 2020
The College Fix

Colleges deny using facial recognition technology after high-profile academics shame them

More than 150 academics, scholars and tenured faculty from colleges across the country have signed an open letter that names and shames colleges for using facial recognition…

Mar 25, 2020
Foreign Policy

How Hackers and Spies Could Sabotage the Coronavirus Fight

Why aren’t we better prepared?

Feb 28, 2020
The New York Times

We’re Banning Facial Recognition. We’re Missing the Point.

The whole point of modern surveillance is to treat people differently, and facial recognition technologies are only a small part of that.

Jan 20, 2020
The Washington Post

The Justice Department’s new quarrel with Apple

The deadly December shooting of three U.S. sailors at a Navy installation could reignite a long-simmering fight between the federal government and tech companies over data privacy…

Jan 17, 2020
Foreign Policy

China Isn’t the Only Problem With 5G

The network has plenty of other security weaknesses, including ones the U.S. doesn’t want to fix since they help its own surveillance efforts.

Jan 10, 2020
The Atlantic

The Future of Politics Is Robots Shouting at One Another

They’ll be controlled by foreign actors, domestic political groups, even the candidates themselves, says BKC fellow Bruce Schneier.

Jan 7, 2020
Codex

Why technologists need to get involved in public policy

We will never get the policy right if policymakers get the technology wrong, Bruce Schneier says.

Oct 10, 2019
The New York Times

Every Part of the Supply Chain Can Be Attacked

When it comes to 5G technology, we have to build a trustworthy system out of untrustworthy parts

Sep 25, 2019
CNN

The real threat from China isn't "spy trains"

China is more likely to try to get data from the US communications infrastructure, says Bruce Schneier

Sep 21, 2019
The Wall Street Journal

Tips for Keeping Your Mobile Phone (Relatively) Safe

You can’t eliminate all the personal data your phone collects and shares about you. But you can limit it.

Sep 17, 2019
CNN

What digital nerds and bio geeks have to worry about

As synthetic biology "programming" reaches the complexity of traditional computer programming, the risks of computer systems will transfer to biological systems.

Sep 12, 2019
NPR

Cyber Experts Warn Of Vulnerabilities Facing 2020 Election Machines

Bruce Schneier comments on election security for NPR

Sep 4, 2019
Lawfare

The Myth of Consumer Security

The distinction between military and consumer products largely doesn't exist

Aug 26, 2019
Foreign Policy

8 Ways to Stay Ahead of Influence Operations

With election meddling inevitable in 2020, the United States needs a powerful kill chain

Aug 12, 2019
The Register

You can easily secure America's e-voting systems tomorrow. Use paper.

Non-internet-connected election systems are actually connected to the internet

Aug 9, 2019
The Enterprisers Project

“Liars and Outliers” named a must-read book on security

The Enterprisers Project highlights Bruce Schneier’s Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive

Jul 15, 2019
The New York Times

We Must Prepare for the Next Pandemic

We’ll have to battle both the disease and the fake news, writes BKC’s Bruce Schneier

Jun 17, 2019
Vice

AI Has Made Video Surveillance Automated and Terrifying

AI can flag people based on their clothing or behavior, identify people's emotions, and find people who are acting "unusual”

Jun 13, 2019
Foreign Policy

AI Can Thrive in Open Societies

The belief that China’s surveillance gives it an advantage is misleading—and dangerous, argues Bruce Schneier

Jun 13, 2019
Boston Review

Democracy’s Dilemma: Forum Response

Henry Farrell and BKC’s Bruce Schneier write a Forum Response to reactions to their earlier essay

Jun 12, 2019
Canadian Underwriter

Huawei a small part of an ‘insurmountably hard problem’ of cybersecurity

The controversy over telecommunications equipment from Chinese manufacturer Huawei is just the tip of a large cyber risk iceberg, Bruce Schneier warns.

May 22, 2019
TechTarget

Surveillance technology under fire, amid growing societal concerns

As San Francisco halts city use of facial recognition technology, CIOs could see more regulatory actions against surveillance technology -- and more limits on their use of data.

May 21, 2019
Boston Review

Democracy's Dilemma

Democracies rely on the free exchange of ideas and information, but that freedom can also be weaponized to erode democratic debate. How can democratic societies protect—and…

May 9, 2019
Reuters

Book Review: The attack of the killer fridges has begun

The world is ever more connected via the internet, from cars and power grids to home appliances and toys. That means ever more things are dangerously hackable.

Dec 14, 2018
Motherboard

The Most Damaging Election Disinformation Campaign Came From Donald Trump, Not Russia

The Kremlin has been focused on undermining trust in American democracy and elections, but Donald Trump and the Republicans have done it better than Russia ever could.

Nov 19, 2018
Wired

Surveillance Kills Freedom By Killing Experimentation

How surveillance hurts our democratic values

Nov 16, 2018
Schneier on Security

Information Attacks against Democracies

The same fake news techniques that benefit autocracies by making everyone unsure about political alternatives undermine democracies by making people question the common political…

Nov 15, 2018
CNN

We need stronger cybersecurity laws for the Internet of Things

Making Internet-connected devices more secure will require smarter regulations

Nov 8, 2018
Public-Interest Technology Resources

Public-Interest Technology Resources

A set of resources for public-interest technologists

Nov 8, 2018
SSRN

Common-Knowledge Attacks on Democracy

Scaling up computer security arguments to the level of the state, so that the entire polity is treated as an information system with associated attack surfaces and threat models,…

Oct 29, 2018
The Atlantic

Nobody’s Cellphone Is Really That Secure

All phones are vulnerable to hacking

Oct 26, 2018
New York Times

Internet Hacking Is About to Get Much Worse

If our devices, information, and institutions are to remain secure, smart government regulation is inevitable

Oct 11, 2018
Washington Post

Don’t fear the TSA cutting airport security. Be glad that they’re talking about it.

Despite largely negative media coverage of the subject, it is a good thing that TSA is brainstorming ways to optimize security in airports

Aug 7, 2018

Courses

The Internet: Governance and Power – Spring 2015

This seminar will examine the individuals and institutions that control the Internet, and how the Internet affects the distribution and operation of power, broadly conceived.


Events

Mar 5, 2024 @ 4:00 PM

Guardrails: Guiding Human Decisions in the Age of AI

Urs Gasser returns to BKC for a book launch on "Guardrails" about decision governance.

Urs Gasser returns to BKC for a book launch on "Guardrails" about decision governance.

May 15, 2023 @ 1:00 PM

Balancing Transparency and Security in Open Research on Generative AI

JOIN US FOR  A VIRTUAL CONVERSATION WITH SUE HENDRICKSON AND BRUCE SCHNEIER FOR THE SECOND IN A SERIES ON ACCOUNTABLE TECHNICAL OVERSIGHT OF GENERATIVE AI

Join Bruce Schneier, security researcher and affiliate at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, for a conversation on balancing security and…

Event
Sep 25, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

"Click Here to Kill Everybody"

A BKC Book Talk

VIDEO & PODCAST: Bruce Schneier on his new book "Click Here to Kill Everybody"

Oct 27, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

National Security, Privacy, and the Rule of Law

Through a concrete hypothetical--ripped from tomorrow's headlines, if not today's--we explore the difficult decisions to be made around these issues, including actors from…

Feb 16, 2016 @ 12:00 PM

Security and Privacy in the World-Sized Web

with Berkman Fellow, Bruce Schneier

We've created a world where technology permeates our economies, social interactions, and intimate selves. Yet these systems demand continuous access to us and our information, and…

Event
Mar 25, 2015 @ 6:00 PM

Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World

With Berkman Fellow, Bruce Schneier. Moderated by Jonathan Zittrain with special guests, Yochai Benkler, Joe Nye, Sara Watson and Melissa Hathaway.

In Data and Goliath, security expert Bruce Schneier offers another path, one that values both security and privacy. He shows us exactly what we can do to reform our government…

Sep 16, 2014 @ 12:30 PM

Drone Warfare and the Public Imagination

John Kaag, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Massachusetts Lowell

In 2012, U.S. drone strikes occurred most often in which nation? If you don’t know, don’t feel too bad. You’re not alone. You could just admit it and join the 27 percent of…

Apr 8, 2014 @ 12:00 PM

Intelligence Gathering and the Unowned Internet

The Berkman Center for Internet and Society is pleased to invite the community to continue the conversation on the future of the unowned Internet on April 8, 2014 with a panel…

Feb 3, 2014 @ 5:00 PM

Defending an Unowned Internet

Opportunities for Technology, Policy, and Corporations

In the wake of the disclosures about government surveillance and the rise of corporate-run applications and protocols, is the idea of an "unowned" Internet still a credible one?…

Apr 4, 2013 @ 6:00 PM

IT, Security, and Power

Bruce Schneier & Jonathan Zittrain in conversation

Feudalism is an apt model for IT today. We pledge our allegiance to service providers, and we expect them to protect us in return. More and more, this security is completely…