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Sat 25 Jun 2005
Alice and Bob Go Public
Category : Commentary/PKI.txt
I was reading Simon Singh's "The Code Book - The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography" and this is the first time I really understand this concept called the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) which we use in mail and web servers when we "turn on SSL".
This is the first time I've found someone who could draw a meaningful picture around PKI - i.e., the problem it was meant to solve, how it solved it, and why that's significant. And so I'll quote that part of the book that created that Eureka moment and encourage you to read it, too. If you're concerned about running a business on the 'Net, this will be a meaningful journey :
And so the stage is set ...
And now the denouement ...
And so this is the start - having a clear mental model of the basic issues to make the mind more ready to consider a few other possibilities. It takes a couple more steps from here to reach how public key encryption actually works today in our systems. And then one more step to understandiing something called PGP - Pretty Good Privacy.
I believe it's going to become very important to learn how to make these things work for us in our businesses. We've already got all these stuff built into our little Macs. All we need is to figure out how to turn them on. Right. The Mac Way.