Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Encryption


Substitute 'Democrat' for 'Insect' and you have a pretty fair summary of all the fuss about the NSA. I think just about all the blogs I read have weighed in on the subject. If I had my way the NSA would be out of business. Of course, if I had that kind of clout I would want my own security apparatus keeping an eye on the miscreants.
    One of the problems with a free and open internet is that, well, it's free and open, which means anyone who wants to do anything privately needs to set up a secure link. Seems to me it would be nice to have a secure internet connection, one where one logon ID and password would work for all your secure transactions, including e-mail. That would put a stop to the spammers. This would make things a little more difficult for the NSA, but I don't think it would stop them. They would just need another hundred billion dollars worth of computers to throw at the problem of decrypting everyone's email.
    As Stu points out, steganography can allow you to transmit secret messages while pretending to know nothing. What would be even better would be an encryption technique that turned your secret message into an innocuous one. Eliza used such a technique (in Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle Trilogy) to send messages from Versailles. She would write horribly long letters full of the current gossip. The secret message was contained in the first letter of each word. Long to write, and somewhat long to read, but dead simple to use, and dead simple to break, if you have the wits to look for it.

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