What is the need for cryptography

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Communication between people is not just about content, but also about how messages are sent and received ...

introduction

"Someone who writes down a secret in any way other than one that hides it from the public is insane." (Roger Bacon, ca.1250)

Communication between people is not just about content, but also about how messages are sent and received and which technologies are used. Every act of communication is based on a pattern of inclusion and exclusion: once a message is addressed to a specific recipient alone, it means that others are excluded. Messages can be exchanged (one to one) between only two individuals, while all others are excluded from communication. Messages can also be addressed to larger groups, such as lectures and lectures, or the general public, such as news broadcasts. In electronic communication networks such as online discussion groups, the many-to-many form of communication, "from many to many" participants, is increasingly prevalent.

In face-to-face oral communication, it is still relatively easy to control who can access the information exchange. But the more communication is detached from physical presence and technologized, the more people have the opportunity to access information that is not intended for them. In order to ensure that the information does not leave the selected framework when communicating face to face, it is sufficient to whisper or to withdraw to a protected space. This is already more difficult with written communication, so it is not surprising that cryptography has evolved in parallel with the development of writing. With today's forms of electronic communication, the advancement of technologies has also led to a multiplication of the possibilities that enable unauthorized access to information.

Democracy is to be measured just as much by the assertion of the public interest as it is by the protection of the private sphere of the individual. For this reason, cryptography, the encryption and decryption by means of codes and / or ciphers, is one of the leading topics in dealing with the possibilities of a democratic information society.