Essay on Cryptography And Its Effect On The Privacy Of Citizens

1328 Words Oct 19th, 2015 6 Pages
Since the dawn of sending and receiving messages, people have had a need for keeping the information they send out to remain private and out of the hands of others. This need for security is the reason the field of cryptography was developed, from its early stages of moving letters around in words to the present use of computer programming to keep certain data safe. Cryptography is the reason we can securely use many day to day applications, but with all these developments come issues of unwanted government surveillance that threatens the privacy of citizens. These issues may be detrimental to the privacy of the information sent and received but cryptography is here to stay as a necessary means of passing that information from one party to another.
Cryptography began as soon as language and writing were developed, some early forms were the use of hieroglyphics, or the use of secret messages on animal skins to tell stories or to pass along messages. These more primitive methods lead to the Cipher (or Caesar) disk where there were two rings of the alphabet and the inner ring could be moved around within the circle in order to give each outer alphabet characters a new corresponding letter (Ellison). This process was known as transposition, where letters would be moved around in a uniform way by “adding” to a letter in order to get a new one for instance A+2 is C. This was a very useful way to send messages, but there were only 26 possibilities because there are only so many…

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