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Cryptography - Hiding Information

rubikscube's picture

Since we spent so much time in class talking about sharing information through coding and decoding, I thought it would be interesting to post about hiding information through cryptography. Cryptography is the conversion of data into an encrypted code which can then only be deciphered through a specific decryption key. This practice has present day applications to ATM cards and computer passwords, but cryptography was also being used much before the creation of the computer. Some of the earlier forms of cryptography were invented when more people became literate because before this time, simply writing down a message instead of speaking it would be encrypting information. A transposition cipher would rearrange the order of letters in a message, so that they would be seen as out of order. Substitution ciphers replace letters or groups of letters with other letters or groups of letters. Codes that are written with these methods of encryption are not too difficult decipher, so once the computer era began, much more intelligent forms of cryptography were created. Before computers, people were only able to encrypt written language, but with the creation of computers after WWII, they can now encrypt any kind of information that is in a binary format. This made older methods of cryptography obsolete, as these more advanced methods are nearly impossible to decipher.

I think the concept of cryptography in relation to information is interesting because it seems that for all the people we want to share information with, there are also people we want to hide that information from. If in our class we continue to try and define what information is, maybe we should not only focus on sharing data but also focus on the importance of hiding it.

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