Bruce Schneier Photo

Bruce Schneier

Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy


In our information-age society, cyber/Internet security has become a paramount concern and an increasingly broad area of public policy. From cybercrime to national security, from corporate data collection to government surveillance, from cell phones to driverless cars, issues of Internet security are everywhere. These issues are complex and multifaceted, touching on such things as personal freedom and autonomy, public safety, corporate behavior and profitability, international relations, and war. This course seeks to explore the complex interplay of public policy issues in computer and Internet security. We will survey the nature of Internet security threats, explore the human factors surrounding security, and seek to understand the basics of Internet security technologies. We will also apply this understanding to a series of computer- and Internet-security policy issues, both current and near-future. Examples include government demands for encryption backdoors, software liabilities, hate speech and radical speech, digital copyright, surveillance reform, and computer-crime law. While these issues will primarily be US-focused, we will also discuss relevant issues in the EU and China, as well as international tensions and norms. Cyberspace is fundamentally technological, and an area where public policy requires a firm understanding of the underlying technologies. Cybersecurity is no exception. This class assumes no computer science background and will make these technologies comprehensible to the layperson.