I am a subscriber to Bruce Schneier’s monthly computer security and cryptography newsletter, Crypto-Gram. I’ve been a subscriber for the last 3-4 years because I think computer security and cryptography are facinating subjects. At one point, I even considered studying one or both of them in graduate school. I think I abandoned that plan primarily because of a deep (but difficult to explain) suspicion that the world’s greatest crypto system could never adequately protect our secrets from a determined and well-funded attacker.
There is an outstanding article about Bruce and security in the wake of September 11 in the Atlantic Monthly. What Bruce says is something that I apparently already knew at an intuitive level: computers, databases, and gun-toting pilots will not save us from terrorists. Any real solution must change the way we think about security. It’s a long read, but it’s well-written, easy to understand (even for the non-technically inclined), and worth your time.