Report: Cryptography

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  Another Question of Security

Even with the best techniques it is impossible to invent a cryptographic system that is absolutely safe/unbreakable. To decipher a text means to go through many, sometimes nearly - but never really - endless attempts. For the computers of today it might take hundreds of years or even more to go through all possibilities of codes, but still, finally the code stays breakable. The much faster quantum computers will proof that one day.
Therefore the decision to elect a certain method of enciphering finally is a matter of trust.

For the average user of computers it is rather difficult to understand or even realize the dangers and/or the technological background of electronic transmission of data. For the majority thinking about one's own necessities for encryption first of all means to trust others, the specialists, to rely on the information they provide.
The websites explaining the problems behind (and also the articles and books concerning the topic) are written by experts of course as well, very often in their typical scientific language, merely understandable for laymen. The introductions and other superficial elements of those articles can be understood, whereas the real background appears as untouchable spheres of knowledge.

The fact that dangers are hard to see through and the need for security measures appears as something most people know from media reports, leads directly to the problem of an underdeveloped democracy in the field of cryptography. Obviously the connection between cryptography and democracy is rather invisible for many people. Those mentioned media reports often specialize in talking about the work computer hackers do (sometimes being presented as criminals, sometimes as heroes) and the danger to lose control over the money drawn away from one's bank account, if someone steals the credit card number or other important financial data. The term "security", surely connected to those issues, is a completely different one from the one that is connected to privacy.
It is especially the latter that touches the main elements of democracy.

for the question of security see:

browse Report:
-3   Asymmetric or Public-Key-Cryptosystems
-2   Steganography
-1   Digital Signatures, Timestamps etc
0   Another Question of Security
+1   Another Question of Security
+2   Key Recovery Systems
+3   Governmental Influence