Security guru Bruce Schneier to leave employer BT
Exclusive Noted security guru Bruce Schneier, who has devoted a great deal of attention and energy over recent weeks to analysing the Edward Snowden leaks into the activities of the NSA and allied spy agencies, is to leave UK telco BT.
A spokesman for BT said:
“We can confirm that Bruce Schneier, BT’s security futurologist, is leaving BT at the end of December 2013.”
News of the parting of the ways reached El Reg via a leaked internal email. Our source suggested that Schneier was shown the door because of his recent comments about the NSA and GCHQ’s mass surveillance activities.
BT denies this, saying that the working relationship had come to its “natural end”.
To: All people in BT Security
From: Mark Hughes, CEO, BT Security
Status: For information
Bruce Schneier to leave BT.
I would like to announce that Bruce Schneier, BT’s security futurologist, is leaving the company after eight years. Bruce joined BT in 2006 as part of the Counterpane acquisition and has been a great asset to the company.
I’d like to thank him for all of his contributions to BT and wish him success in his future endeavours.
Mark Hughes, CEO, BT Security
Hughes gave a keynote presentation about BT Security’s work securing the Olympics at the recent RSA Europe conference. During an accompanying question-and-answer session he downplayed suggestions that BT had a close working relation with GCHQ, saying that the telecoms giant was no different from any other large private sector firm in the UK.
Leaks from former NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden painted a different picture, however, including reports that BT, Vodafone and other carriers allowed GCHQ to tap their fibre-optic lines.
BT denied that Schneier leaving was anything to do with his recent critical commentaries on the dragnet surveillance tactics of Blighty’s GCHQ in partnership with the NSA:
We hired Bruce because of his thought leadership in security and as part of our acquisition of Counterpane. We have agreed to part ways as we felt our relationship had run its course and come to a natural end. It has nothing to do with his recent blogs. We hired Bruce because of his thought leadership in security, not because we agree with everything he says. In fact, it’s his ability to challenge our assumptions that made him especially valuable to BT.
We wish Bruce every success in his future endeavours and thank him for his contributions to the company and the industry.
We’ve invited Schneier himself to comment on his future plans and will update this story as and when we hear more. ®