USA Today and the Brainwashing of America

Philip Greenspun's Homepage : Philip Greenspun's Homepage Discussion Forums : 6805 : One Thread
Notify me of new responses
In yesterday's issue of USA Today was an article about cryptography that I found particularly amusi-- I mean interesting. It centers around Bruce Schneier, one of the cryptographers trying to make the crypto standard. The format of the article was one in which "typical" questions were asked about crypto in general. The best question was as follows:

Q: Can't the government's supercomputers crack any encryption?
A: Probably not. The National Security Agency's capabilities are a military secret, but it is doubtful that they can break the strongest encryption.

So what do we think? Doubtful? Well then, encryption isn't strong enough, is it? Shouldn't the answer be approaching "impossible"? Or is this just a way of making Mr. Average American feel safe?

-- First Last, October 7, 1999