Fw: Simon Singh, Ph.D.
hlfrmt at cox.net
hlfrmt at cox.net
Sat Dec 17 15:49:23 CST 2005
If I remember correctly the work was not done by GCHQ but by
researchers working for a part of the UK government charged with creating new ciphers. Their work was documented within official channels preventing making it impossible for
academic and industrial researchers to become exposed to it. The UK work was very interesting because it anticipated the major lines of research which academics on this side of the pond would follow. This was to base their ideas on hard problems from number theory (prime factorization,
find logs over certain finite fields). The work remained within known only to a small group of government researchers responsible for the development of new ciphers for military and diplomatic use. About mid-1970 various academic researchers here in the US began publishing works on similar cryptographic systems as the previous work by UK researchers. In an ironic twist it was these academics who were hailed as its inventors and where showered with accolates. The idea of using this type of cryptography to solve emerging problems in computer networking is very much the contribution of US academic researchers. The idea of its use and its name refer to the use of a "published" key known to the public via say publishing in a newspaper or kept at a common reliable network location to encipher information and a private key kept secret to decipher it.
>From what I can tell the parallel invention of these types of cryptographic algorithms occured independently of one another which goes to show that important ideas are discovered by many people at more or less the same point in history. The UK permitted publication of the original documents about 1993? to allow the original inventors credit
for their discovery. I am not aware of earlier work in this field but that does not mean it doesn't exist.
> From: Paul Rinaldo <prinaldo at mindspring.com>
> Date: 2005/12/17 Sat AM 07:50:35 EST
> To: tacos at amrad.org
> Subject: Fw: Simon Singh, Ph.D.
> A book was picked up recently in a second-hand bookstore by Dr. Singh and published by Doubleday in 1999 entitled The Code Book. It has a good description of public key; the Diffie et al work; pgp and the role of Zimmerman; the legal troubles involving RSA and the later publication of material showing that the dating of the "invention" of
> public key is in error and it should be credited earlier to GCHQ. All this was interesting. However, my undocumented recollection is that this is all still in error and that the actual credit is several years earlier still and belongs on
> this side of the Atlantic.
> Does anyone know the truth here?
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