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Bruce Schneier joins EFF; stays with BT

"Bruce is one of America's premiere technologists – the person both experts and the general public turn to when they need answers to tough security questions," said EFF Executive Director Shari Steele. "We are very proud to have him join our Board of Directors to help EFF meet the challenges of the years ahead."

One of those challenges comes from the revelations of whistleblower Edward Snowden: PRISM and the collection of communications meta data from telecoms providers such as Verizon. "EFF is one of the leading organizations fighting the government's unconstitutional spying, marshaling legal and technological expertise to battle surveillance in the courtroom and in Congress," said Schneier. "I'm excited to work together with the board and the staff as we learn more about this spying and how we can shut it down."

Government spying is even more prolific in the UK. With no written constitution to protect freedoms, GCHQ has been able to tap around 200 fiber optic cables while staying within the letter of the UK law. German newspaper The Local reported on Tuesday, "Snowden's revelations showed that British communications providers Vodafone and British Telecom (BT) were involved in helping with GCHQ's cable taps, which allowed the service to sift through vast amounts of communications data every day."

Vodafone later issued a statement stressing that companies must follow the laws of the country they operate in, "but declined to give further details in the interests of 'national security.' BT, meanwhile, has so far refused to comment," continued The Local.

Last month Schneier gave a talk on security at the Armani Hotel in Dubai, for which he was described by BT as BT's Chief Security Technology Officer. He joined BT in 2006 when the BT Group bought the company he founded in 1999, Counterpane Internet Security Inc. Schneier is now both BT's Chief Security Technology Officer and on the board of EFF.

He does not, however, see any conflict. "There's no problem," he told Infosecurity in an emailed statement. "I was on the board of EPIC for six years before this, and now I'm on the board of EFF.  I'm there as me, not as a BT employee or spokesman or advocate."

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