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Keeping Secrets: Cryptography in a Connected World

Saturday, June 4, 2011
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Since the earliest days of communication, clever minds have devised methods for enciphering messages to shield them from prying eyes. Today, cryptography has moved beyond the realm of dilettantes and soldiers to become a sophisticated scientific art—combining mathematics, physics, computer science, and electrical engineering. It not only protects messages, but it also safeguards our privacy. From email to banking transactions, modern cryptography is used everywhere. But does it really protect us? What took place was a discussion of cryptography’s far-reaching influence throughout history (from Julius Caesar’s reign to Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks), and the ways in which it—and our privacy—are constantly under assault today as threats lurk behind IP addresses, computational power increases, and our secrets move online.


Josh ZeppsHost

Josh Zepps is a correspondent for Bloomberg TV’s Energy Now, reporting on the future of energy and the environment. His show on Discovery Science Channel, Brink, took an irreverent look at the latest breakthroughs on the brink of changing our lives.

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Orr DunkelmanCryptanalyst

An active member of the research community in the fields of cryptanalysis (breaking ciphers), computer security, and privacy, Orr Dunkelman has published numerous papers analyzing the security of ciphers and cryptosystems. He is widely recognized for his work on the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).

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Tal RabinCryptographer

Manager and research staff member of the Cryptography Research Group at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center, Tal Rabin’s research focuses on the general area of cryptography and, more specifically, on multiparty computations, threshold and proactive security.

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Simon SinghAuthor, Science Journalist, Producer

Simon Singh’s documentary about Fermat’s Last Theorem was the winner of a BAFTA in the UK and was nominated for an EMMY. His publication on the same subject, Fermat’s Enigma, is the first book about mathematics to become a number one bestseller in the UK and has since been translated into 30 languages.

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Brian SnowSecurity Expert

Recognized mathematician and computer scientist Brian Snow’s early work spans from teaching mathematics and laying the groundwork for a computer science department at Ohio University in the 1960’s, to working as a cryptologic designer and architect at the National Security Agency (NSA) in the 1970s.

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