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RSA London 2012: Governments will fail in bid to control internet, claims Bruce Schneier

10 Oct 2012
Security Expert Bruce Schneier

LONDON: The world's governments are destined to fail in their attempts to control the internet, according to BT security expert Bruce Schneier.

Schneier claimed that the internet is currently going through a dark period, with legislators creating ill-conceived cyber policies that are damaging rather than helping online developments.

"Governments are starting to use it [the internet] for power," said Schneier at a press conference in London.

"We're hitting a period in internet history where governments are seizing more control; one where governments that don't understand the internet are trying to interfere with it."

Schneier touted the recent US proposal to create a "killswitch" for the internet as a prime example of policymaker's lack of understanding.

The cryptography expert warned that such policies will cause short term damage by increasing the political separation between the pre- and post-internet generations.

"The internet is biggest generation since rock and roll," said Schneier.

"The line is people on Twitter: those that can't figure it out and those that can't live without it."

As a result Schneier predicted that governments' bid for online power would fail.

"I don't think they [governments] will succeed but there'll be a lot of damage in the process [...] In battles between generation gaps the younger generation always wins as in the end the older dies," said Schneier.

"In the long term, I do believe in humanities never-ending quest for justice and morality."

Earlier this autumn, Schneier told V3's Security Summit 2012, that online anonymity was a significant challenge for governments as he issued a similar call for government to end their attempts to control the web

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Alastair Stevenson
About

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

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