In the 1990s the US government feared the emergence of encryption technologies that would prevent them from conducting legal intercept and signals intelligence.
To preserve their capabilities, whilst at the same time providing public key encryption to citizens, the government developed a key escrow technology, the Clipper Chip, which would allow warranted recovery of suspect's encryption keys. In parallel, the government used export regulations in an attempt to prevent strong encryption escaping their borders and reaching foreign adversaries.
Opposing government policies were the digital privacy activists, including the Cypherpunks, a group of borderline anarchist technologists. The digital privacy activists developed and disseminated encryption technologies such as PGP to undermine government policies. The privacy activists also challenged the government export regulations in the courts in an attempt to have them declared unconstitutional.
This seminar will explore the main events of the battle between the government and digital privacy activists during the 1990s.
Craig is currently studying a PhD in History & Information Security at RHUL.
Craig's research explores why the US administrations of the 1990s chose to regulate cryptography, with this being a proxy for privacy in the digital age, and how digital privacy activists such as the Cypherpunks opposed government policies.
Before studying at RHUL, Craig held the post of Chief Technology Officer at DXC Security. Craig holds Master's degrees in Cyber Security, International Security, and Classical Music.
Craig's first book, 'CryptoWars: The Fight for Privacy in the Digital Age: A Political History of Digital Encryption' will be released by Taylor and Francis in December 2020.