Friday, April 24, 2009

Cryptology documentaries

Cryptology is a wonderful science with a most interesting history. Unfortunately, few people know what cryptology actually is, and what it means to us. Code makers and code breakers influenced history for thousands of years and determined politics and the outcome of many wars in the past, and it will continue to do so in the future.

One of the reasons that cryptology is unknown to the public is that it has been a very obscure science for ages. Even today, only a few books found their way to the general public and documentaries about cryptology on TV science or history channels are most rare. Nonetheless, some very interesting documentaries exist and it is a pity that they are seldom showed on TV.

On Youtube, there are quite a few good videos to discover. A nice one is the 45 minutes documentary Top Secret NSA from Discovery, about the role of the National Security Agency in recent history (on the image you see NSA's Puzzle Palace). It was the first time NSA allowed a view inside. The bideo below in in five parts, but the complete video is also available on Youtube.

It would be nice if the TV programmers aired such documentaries a little bit more so that cryptologists were placed a little bit more in the well deserved spotlight. Their actual work however will rarely see daylight.


Frank I. said...

Bedankt voor de youtube links Dirk, ik heb de filmpjes met plezier bekeken. Ik heb trouwens de Cryptobox Challenge weer opgepakt met een gecomputeriseerde aanval op 20-stappen box. Dus ik hoop je binnenkort weer met een mailtje te kunnen verblijden, maar voorlopig houdt het zich nog taai...

Dirk Rijmenants said...

Hi Frank, da's even geleden!

Veel geluk met de cryptobox. Automatiseren is de beste oplossing. Olaf had ook zelf een programma geschreven, dat wel enkele dagen gelopen heeft. Veel geluk!