Surveillance critic Bruce Schneier heads to software startup

Bruce Schneier. (Credit: Bruce Schneier. (Credit:

Noted cryptographer Bruce Schneier, who’s been a vocal and active opponent of the domestic surveillance operations of the U.S. and British governments, has landed a new position as the chief technology officer of Cambridge, Mass.-based software developer Co3 Systems Inc.

Schneier recently announced his departure from BT, where he served as the company’s “security futurologist” since 2006 when BT acquired Counterpane Internet Security Inc., the company Schneier founded. Although his departure from BT came after FedScoop investigated the potential conflict of interest between Schneier’s role as an executive with a government contractor and his public role assisting journalists analyze classified U.S. and U.K. documents stolen by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, BT and Schneier have both maintained his exit had nothing to do with the NSA scandal.


Founded in 2010, Co3 Systems develops incident response management software for cybersecurity incidents and privacy breaches.

“Remember protection, detection and response? Counterpane was about the second. Co3 is about the third,” Schneier said in an email to FedScoop. “It’s something we should have done at Counterpane, and probably would have had BT not purchased us in 2006.”

“Bruce has always been a real visionary and major agent of change in the security market,” said John Bruce, CEO of Co3. “I shared his vision for effective security at Counterpane more than a decade ago, and we’ve always been aligned in the way that we view the world and threats to its stability.”

Schneier and Bruce had worked together previously at Counterpane, and Schneier joined the Co3 advisory board in early 2013.

The company said in a statement Schneier’s role will be to “inform and guide Co3’s technology and business strategy, evangelizing the ‘responsive security’ model that he has advocated for many years.”


Schneier confirmed to FedScoop in December he plans to continue working as a paid consultant to the Guardian newspaper as that organization tries to make sense of the technical details contained in the mountain of classified documents leaked by Snowden.

Although he denied his work with the Guardian led to his ouster at BT, Schneier acknowledged in an email to FedScoop the company “wasn’t always happy with my writings on the topic, but they knew that I am an independent thinker and they didn’t try to muzzle me in any way.”

“I’m pretty excited about this,” Schneier said, referring to his new position at Co3 Systems. “It’s good to be back at a startup.”

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