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Keeping Secrets: Cryptography in a Connected World

Date & Time

Saturday, June 4, 2011
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
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Eisner & Lubin Auditorium

Since the earliest days of communication, clever minds have devised methods for enciphering messages to shield them from prying eyes. Today, cryptography has moved beyond the realm of dilettantes and soldiers to become a sophisticated scientific art—combining mathematics, physics, computer science, and electrical engineering. It not only protects messages, but it also safeguards our privacy. From email to banking transactions, modern cryptography is used everywhere. But does it really protect us? What took place was a discussion of cryptography’s far-reaching influence throughout history (from Julius Caesar’s reign to Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks), and the ways in which it—and our privacy—are constantly under assault today as threats lurk behind IP addresses, computational power increases, and our secrets move online.

More from this series: Keeping Secrets


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    Josh Zepps is a correspondent for Bloomberg TV’s Energy Now, reporting on the future of energy and the environment. His show on Discovery Science Channel, Brink, took an irreverent look at the latest breakthroughs on the brink of changing our lives. His one-hour science specials continue to air on Discovery around the world. More »


  • Brian Snow

    Security Expert Recognized mathematician and computer scientist Brian Snow’s early work spans from teaching mathematics and laying the groundwork for a computer science department at Ohio University in the 1960’s, to working as a cryptologic designer and architect at the National Security Agency (NSA) in the 1970s. In the 1980s, he helped create and manage NSA’s Secure Systems Design division, contributing to nuclear command and control systems and developing tactical radios for the battlefield. Several patents, awards, and honors attest to his creativity. More »
  • Simon Singh

    Author, Science Journalist, Producer Before joining BBC Science as a TV producer, Simon Singh completed a Ph.D. in particle physics at Cambridge University and CERN. More »
  • Orr Dunkelman

    Cryptanalyst An active member of the research community in the fields of cryptanalysis (breaking ciphers), computer security, and privacy, Orr Dunkelman has published numerous papers analyzing the security of ciphers and cryptosystems. He is widely recognized for his work on the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), the KASUMI block cipher that is used to protect 3G communications, and the KeeLoq block cipher that is widely deployed in remote entry systems, such as alarms. More »
  • Tal Rabin

    Cryptographer Manager and research staff member of the Cryptography Research Group at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center, Tal Rabin’s research focuses on the general area of cryptography and, more specifically, on multiparty computations, threshold and proactive security. More »