[Cryptography] Questions about crypto that lay people want to understand

John Levine johnl at iecc.com
Tue Dec 22 12:43:18 EST 2015

> Prior to the invention of *radio*, the use of cryptography was
> sporadic even among govts.  I believe that the U.S.  diplomatic corps
> didn't bother with cryptography until WWI, for example.

American diplomats used codes in the 1700s, and Americans had some
success breaking British codes:


The State Dept used the "Monroe Code" from 1803.  Secretary of State
Seward sent an encrypted telegram to France in 1866, using it, which
was a fiasco since every digit was charged as a word and it was
fantastically expensive.



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