I've been lucky enough to get some good exposure over the years. Early on the focus was always just lockpicking, but as my passions shifted I found, to my genuine surprise, that there was an audience out there for my more niche pursuits into the social structures of security.

If you are working on a story about security, locks or lockpicking, feel free to get in touch. I'd love to help in any way I can.


Why Smart Locks Won't Kill
the Old-Fashioned Key

This is the sort of thing historians will laugh at me for, but I think in fifty years a kid will still know what a house key is. There are some innovations out there, like human-powered locks, that could prove me wrong, and fast. But I still feel more secure having a fully mechanical, nondigital lock. When I physically lock my door at night, I am comforted by that act. I don't think that's going away anytime soon.

—Popular Mechanics, 2015

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Thief in the Night:
Stealing in a Digital Age

Schuyler Towne, a research scholar at the Ronin Institute who studies security, said proximity has a lot to do with the spread of Internet crime — and so do weak taboos.

"The crux of social order related to any trespass against society," Towne said, "is that the further you are from a single individual, the less emotional reaction people will have to the crime."

—Deseret News: National, 2014

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The Master Touch:
The Art and Ethics of Breaking In

vqr

Punch magazine put out an editorial that boiled down to: We understand that you need to test the security of locks by picking them. We also understand that you need to learn anatomy by cutting people apart. Let’s not do either in the streets. And people became much less tolerant of these open bounties and less tolerant of these picking competitions. And basically, by the latter half of the 1880s, people said, “Screw it, this is good enough. If there’s a lock on the door and we’ve all decided to live in a society together, well, that’s cool.”

—Virginia Quarterly Review, 2014

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Life Lessons in Competitive Lockpicking

—BBC News: First Person, 2012


How to Pick Locks and Escape from Handcuffs

Schuyler Towne is sort of like MacGyver with a mohawk.

At the SecTor security conference in Toronto this week, the American lockpicking champion and editor of Non-Destructive Entry (NDE) Magazine gave attendees free crash courses in how to pick a lock, bump a lock, make a key impression and escape from handcuffs.

—IT Business, CA, 2010

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Locksporters Pick Locks for Fun

npr

As he manipulates a skinny pick to defeat a lock, 25-year-old Schuyler Towne wants to make one thing very clear: Real "locksporters" abide by a strict code of ethics.

"Never pick a lock you don't own, and never pick a lock that's in regular use," Towne says.

—NPR's All Things Considered, 2009

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For Those About to Lock

phoenix

Towne, who also placed second in the speed-lockpicking event that same day, remained upbeat enough to participate in the post-championship rabble-rousing — the best parties at DEFCON, apparently, are on Saturday, and he didn't want to miss out on the mayhem. At 3 am Pacific time, he texts me from his cell phone. He's locked out of his hotel room.

"Ironic, I know," he writes.

—Boston Phoenix, 2009

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