Brief History of Cryptology

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Overview

Most of us experience the interactions of cryptography, communications, and computers as we go about our daily activities. While on our laptops, we conduct secure financial transactions and communicate about business and personal matters. But not long ago, only people with special security clearances working at secured communications centers had such access. This book looks at how this dramatic transition came about.

J. V. Boone presents a historical overview of technological developments in cryptology and the closely associated fields of communications and computers. Having directed research at the National Security Agency (NSA) for years, he is well suited to tell the story. Boone identifies milestone accomplishments and activities in the three fields to provide an introduction to the talented people who have led developments and applications. He includes illustrations to give a feel for the equipment and systems, but his book's focus is on the essential ingredient for success in cryptology: brainpower. Everyone from high school students to policy developers in government and industry will be drawn to this concise history of the joint progress of cryptology, communications, and computers. Although he writes primarily from a military intelligence and command/control viewpoint, there are no involved explanations about how individual pieces of equipment function and no elaborate mathematical presentations. For those whose curiosity he has stimulated, he provides additional references.

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