Internet and e-mail policy and practice
including Notes on Internet E-mail


Click the comments link on any story to see comments or add your own.

Subscribe to this blog

RSS feed

Home :: Internet

23 Oct 2020

The good old days in the cryptography wars Internet

The 20th century was the golden age of surveillance.

High speed communication went either by telegraph and telephone which needed a license from the government, or by radio which anyone can listen to. Codes were manual or electromechanical and were breakable, e.g., the Zimmermann telegram and Bletchley Park. (The UK government spent far more effort inventing a cover story for the source of the telegram than on the break itself, to avoid telling the world how thoroughly they were spying on everyone.) The few secure one-time pads were either so expensive they could only be used for a handful of the most important messages (SIGSALY) or so cumbersome they weren't used correctly and broken anyway (Venona.)

Historically, that was a very strange time for cryptography and espionage, but it's what politicians and law enforcement remember as the good old days, and think that it was normal to be able to spy on anyone, anywhere.

That was then. Now we have computers and better algorithms so any $10 burner phone can do crypto that nobody can break. The algorithms and software are available all over the world. The genie isn't going back into the bottle, no matter how hard some parties demand that we push.

posted at: 17:55 :: permanent link to this entry :: 0 comments
posted at: 17:55 :: permanent link to this entry :: 0 comments

comments...        (Jump to the end to add your own comment)

Add your comment...

Note: all comments require an email address to send a confirmation to verify that it was posted by a person and not a spambot. The comment won't be visible until you click the link in the confirmation. Unless you check the box below, which almost nobody does, your email won't be displayed, and I won't use it for other purposes.

Email: you@wherever (required, for confirmation)
Title: (optional)
Show my Email address
Save my Name and Email for next time


My other sites

Who is this guy?

Airline ticket info

Taughannock Networks

Other blogs

Remembering JD Falk - 10 years later
385 days ago

A keen grasp of the obvious
Italian Apple Cake
85 days ago

Related sites

Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail

Network Abuse Clearinghouse

© 2005-2020 John R. Levine.
CAN SPAM address harvesting notice: the operator of this website will not give, sell, or otherwise transfer addresses maintained by this website to any other party for the purposes of initiating, or enabling others to initiate, electronic mail messages.