Crypto: How the Code Rebels Beat the Government--Saving Privacy in the Digital Age

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Penguin, Jan 8, 2001 - Computers - 368 pages
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If you've ever made a secure purchase with your credit card over the Internet, then you have seen cryptography, or "crypto", in action. From Stephen Levy—the author who made "hackers" a household word—comes this account of a revolution that is already affecting every citizen in the twenty-first century. Crypto tells the inside story of how a group of "crypto rebels"—nerds and visionaries turned freedom fighters—teamed up with corporate interests to beat Big Brother and ensure our privacy on the Internet. Levy's history of one of the most controversial and important topics of the digital age reads like the best futuristic fiction.

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Crypto: how the code rebels beat the government, saving privacy in the digital age

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Levy, chief technology writer for Newsweek, provides an intriguing look at the recent revolution in cryptography in the digital ageDthe process of providing secure communications, such as e-mail ... Read full review

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Covers the recent history of cryptography mostly from the 1950s onwards, concentrating on how the amateurs and personal computers changed the field. Levy tells mini biographies of those that have recently contributed to the field. He also does a good job describing how the recent discovery of a 'public key' changed cryptography and how it works. It's nice to know where some of our current software and recent technological advances come from, like PGP, and why they were written/invented.  

Selected pages


the loner
the standard
public key
prime time
selling crypto
crypto anarchy
the clipper chip
slouching toward crypto
the open secret

patents and keys

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About the author (2001)

Steven Levy is the author of Hackers, which has been in print for more than fifteen years, as well as Insanely Great: The Life & Times of Macintosh, the Computer That Changed Everything. He is also Newsweek's chief technology writer and has been a contributing writer to Wired since its inception. He lives in New York City with his wife and son.

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