Bruce Schneier talk about the NSA at MIT. Edward Snowden has given us an unprecedented window into the NSA’s surveillance activities. Drawing from both the Snowden documents and revelations from previous whistleblowers, this talk describes the sorts of surveillance the NSA conducts and how it conducts it. The emphasis will be on the technical capabilities of the NSA, and not the politics or legality of their actions. I will then discuss what sorts of countermeasures are likely to frustrate any nation-state adversary with these sorts of capabilities. These will be techniques to raise the cost of wholesale surveillance in favor of targeted surveillance: ubiquitous encryption, target dispersal, anonymity tools, and so on.

Bruce Schneier is an internationally renowned security technologist, called a “security guru” by The Economist. He is the author of 12 books — including Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust Society Needs to Survive — 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 Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, a program fellow at the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute, a board member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and an Advisory Board member of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. He is also the Chief Technology Officer of Co3 Systems, Inc.