Research Project Encryption

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Research Project Encryption Should the US government limit the strength of encryption products to eavesdrop on people’s everyday life? I remember exchanging secret letters with my friends in Japan as a child. We developed a code in which each letter of the Japanese alphabet was replaced by the one that follows it. For example, if we had used English, "Z" would have been replaced by "A". Each of us had the key to understanding this code but outsiders didn’t, so we didn’t have to worry if one of our brothers intercepted our letters. We loved our secret communications. These letters actually used a simple kind of encryption, not so different from the one Julius Caesar used for the secret messages he sent his Roman generals throughout Europe. He, also, didn’t worry if his enemies stole the messages because without the key, they couldn’t read them. Today, as well, encryption is used to hide sensitive information. It is used not only by spies but also for common telecommunications, such as faxes and e-mails. Encryption is also important for many everyday uses like Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) for bank account, credit card security and access to controlled areas in buildings. Encryption ensures privacy by keeping things behind a locked door of sorts. But what happens if there is something dangerous, very dangerous behind that locked door? What if the information that is being kept private and secure is a potential threat to the safety of others? What if my friends and I had been plotting to blow up our school or to plan a way to hurt our brothers? Shouldn’t our parents have had a way to know what we were conspiring? In other words, how private should private be? This is the question central to a brewing controversy between privacy advocates and the U.S. Federal government. Legal, professional, and ethical issues are being debated as are the limits that can or should be placed on developing encryption technologies. At stake are personal freedoms, the privacy of financial and medical records, as well as the fate of entire, nascent industries in the high-tech world. The system of encryption To start off the examination of this complex topic, let’s start with the definition of encryption: a process of disguising a message so that only its legitimate recipient can understand it. There are two steps to the encryption process, the first of which is also called encryption, and the second which is decryption.

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