20th Century Cryptography Speech

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Title: The Five Great Inventions of Twentieth Century Cryptography
Author: William Hugh Murray
Author Contact: WHMurray@DOCKMASTER.NCSC.MI

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to author remains attached.]



[This talk was presented as the keynote address at the 1994 RSA Security
Conference, Redwood City, CA] Foreword

Two years ago I opened the first of these conferences.

Jim Bidzos invited me to "kick it off;" nothing so formal as a "keynote."
While I wore this same suit, I just sort of got up here to shoot the
breeze with a few of my friends and colleagues. No notes, just sort of
"off-the-cuff." He did not even tell me how long I could talk. As far as I
know there were no reporters present; nothing that I said got me in

After the morning session was over, Jim hosted a lunch for some of the
speakers and panelists. Whit Diffie sat beside me, with his notes, and
began to quiz me on my sources and authorities for my comments. He even
told me that some of my best stories were apocryphal (though he conceded
me the points that I made with them).

Well, I see the same friends, but there are far more colleagues. The
program is more formal, Diffie still has his pad and pencil, the press is
here, my remarks are styled as a "keynote," they are sufficiently arguable
that I need to choose my words very carefully, and I have a fixed time to
end. Prudence suggests that I use notes.


Cryptography, the art of secret communication, is almost as old as
writing. Indeed, it has been suggested that, at least for a while, writing
itself was a relative secret. Certainly it was esoteric and its use was
reserved to an initiated elite.

Cryptography and recording and...