Modern field guide to security and privacy

Podcast: Cory Doctorow on science fiction, surveillance and World War III

On The Cybersecurity Podcast, Passcode's Sara Sorcher and New America's Peter Singer interview science fiction author Doctorow and DARPA's Dan Kaufman about the surveillance state and futuristic new technology in anticipation of future cyberconflicts. 

Britta Pedersen/AP
Cory Doctorow spoke at the Re:publica Internet conference in Berlin in May.

With Internet technology advancing so quickly, what could a future World War III look like? Are there lessons to be learned from science fiction about future cyberconflicts? And do people – especially young people – even care about the mass collection of their personal data by governments and companies online?  

Cory Doctorow – science fiction author, journalist, and coeditor of Boing Boing – sheds some light on all these and more questions on the latest episode of The Cybersecurity Podcast.

"The major effect of Edward Snowden hasn't been to end surveillance, that seems really visible and obvious," Mr. Doctorow says. "What I think Snowden has done is I think he has sent us into peak indifference to surveillance. There will never be a time in the future in which fewer people are worried about the surveillance question." 

Dan Kaufman, director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Information Innovation Office, also joins the podcast to talk about what it's like to run the part of the Pentagon's futuristic arm responsible for anticipating future cyberconflict and developing new Internet technologies. 

Mr. Kaufman shares how he picks projects that could help the military beef up its digital defenses, the risks that come with the burgeoning Internet of Things – and what it's like to work in an office with robots in the lobby. 

The podcast is cohosted by Peter W. Singer, strategist at the New America think tank and author of "Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know," and Sara Sorcher, deputy editor of The Christian Science Monitor's Passcode. The podcast is available for download on iTunes. You can find more information about the podcast on Passcode's long-form storytelling platform. Bookmark New America's SoundCloud page for new episodes or sign up for Passcode below.

In previous episodes, The Cybersecurity Podcast team interviewed Bruce Schneier, prolific author and chief technology officer at Resilient Systems, about the challenges of publicly blaming countries for cyberattacks and Nate Fick, the CEO of security intelligence software company Endgame about leveraging cybersecurity solutions for the government into the private sector.

Singer and Sorcher have also interviewed Alex Stamos, Yahoo's chief information security officer about his company's new end-to-end e-mail encryption rollout, what it’s like to lead a team of “Paranoids” and why people who have his job are so stressed out.

And Lt. Gen. Edward Cardon, the Army's top cyber commander, joined their first episode to talk about how the Army is beefing up its cyberforces, competition for talent with the private sector, and what role the military should play when a nation-state attacks a private company. 


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