CRYPTO: When the Code Rebels Beat the Government--Saving Privacy in the Digital Age

Editorial Review - Kirkus - Jane Doe

A dramatically rendered if dense account of the post-hippie outsider intellectuals who cracked the National Security Agency's monopoly on cryptography and ushered in much that dot-com America today takes for granted. Newsweek technology writer Levy hews to chronology in this sprawling account of the nascent digital age, beginning with the "amateur" pursuits of disenchanted academics Whit Diffie ... 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.  

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