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In the modern world of encryption, much is a mystery. The military is only now releasing information about World War II encryption. What they have now, what was used in the Gulf War, etc. is totally classified. So, in this section don't expect much on military cryptography.
Instead, we have outlined several of the events that led up to the recent introduction to the consumer of the world of encryption. We also discuss government agencies that have been recently created to deal with codebreaking.
First off, the most prominent government member in the cryptographic world is without a doubt the National Security Agency. It is charged with the mission of intercepting foreign traffic and countering non-domestic threats. Read more about NSA here.
An interesting aspect of cryptography that has made front-page headlines is the "Kryptos" sculpture at the CIA headquarters in Langley, VA. This sculpture actually hides a special message. People have been trying to decrypt it for almost ten years, and they are getting quite close.
It began as an arcane art, but in recent years has become a tool for the common person's use in everyday life. Phil Zimmerman and his invention of the PGP encryption system have had a tremendous impact on how people communicate. Read more here.
Finally, on the frontier of cryptography is new Elliptic Curve Theory. The math majors among you will find this irresistible. However, it's important for everyone to be acquainted with the methods that will be used to protect your credit card number!