Monday, October 23, 2006

Crypto Book

Thanks to iCon, I'm back reading again. I always had a thing for cryptography. If not for the tons of books I have about the topic. And the tons of print-outs from the mid 90s that are still on my bookshelves. I printed them off the net when I was a part time web site developer then. We had a slow dial up connection that was shared by 6 PCs. I never complained. Most of the crypto articles were in plain text and would download in no time. I read all of them and I'm still hungry for more.

Is it that almost all of the modern cryptography systems are totally dependent on Math? But I never got interested in Math's real life implementations. I was a purist in college and still is. I do Math for Math's sake. Nothing less; nothing more.

How come then I got so interested in cryptography?

I think it is the notion that a person can have the freedom of expression and the choice to maintain his privacy in front of the peeping eyes of corrupt governments. I never really analyzed it before but I can see that it is neither the science of cipher nor its art that made me a crypto geek.

I'm more inclined to see it driven by the agony implanted in my mind of a 6 years old child deprived of his right to be a son of a devoted and loving father. Is this really what drives me to dig deep into the complicated crypro algorithms and the detailed biographies of the crypto icons? Is it because of a father that was lost for 21 years; kicked out of Bahrain and separated from his beloved wife and 3 children?! That's something for TIME to answer!

Back to the book which I got years ago and never managed to complete. I picked it because it was simply a cryptography book. I however ended up having one of the best portrayal of the legendary Whitfield Diffie.

This is not a technical book. It is about the politics of secrecy. It is a story of a free spirit; a man who envisioned a society that has the power to maintain its privacy. It is about the people who picked upon his ideas and charged ahead towards the future. Towards our presence. Towards times that have Diffie's public-key crypto as a cornerstone of every single online purchase. Every single stock trade. Every single Internet transaction.

I finished the book this time and enjoyed every single bit of it. If you love to know the history of the people who brought to you secure and safe Internet shopping, this book is for you.


H said...

Applied mathematics into cryptology? Well, I can advise you to look into "computational modelling" of neural systems. I am still utterly baffled by it.

A more related topic is "lexical entertainment". It's quite incredible how we even know exactly what we're talking about in a conversation!!

BuZain said...

Thanks for your comment H. I'll definitely look into your suggestions. Life took me far away from my beloved Math and I'd die for a chance to get back to its beauty.

Nabeel said...

cryptography is found even in the text of bible. I forgot what method they used but it was a text based linear/diagonal method.

BuZain said...

I absolutely believe it Nabeel. Encryption is as old as the human race and the bible, the quran, and every other holy book would probably have all kinds of cryptos embedded in them.