Author Archives: Maria Sellers

Mutual Trust is Key

In her book, It’s Complicated, Danah Boyd essentially sums up the problem of privacy on social media in a single sentence: “What’s at stake is not whether someone can listen in but whether one should” (Boyd, 58). Some will claim that since teenagers overshare on social media, they forfeit their privacy because they post everything […] Continue reading

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Old Information in a New Way

The podcast “Cipher, or Greenhow Girls” from The Memory Palace was particularly intriguing and cleverly done. The producer of this podcast incorporated music, details, and descriptions which draw the listener in. Instead of feeling as though you are listening to a textbook, the producer weaves a narrative that is both relatable and interesting. Short segments […] Continue reading

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Too Much to Lose

Although German overconfidence played a major role in the success of Allied cryptanalysts, there were many other factors at play. One of the most significant reasons for Allied success was that the Allies had much more to lose. Initially, Marian Rejewski cracked Enigma because the threat of a German invasion of Poland was extremely high. […] Continue reading

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Is There an Answer?

Looking at this display from the Newseum, the thing that stood out most to me on the board was the person who wrote that they would sacrifice “some privacy.” Personally, this makes me wonder what part of privacy this person was referring to. Were they referring to texts, phone calls, emails, their location, or something […] Continue reading

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Necessity is the Mother of Public Use

Necessity is the mother of invention. It wasn’t until the late 19th century that cryptography began to amass a large public following. According to Singh, it was the invention of the telegraph that made the use of ciphers common in the general public. Since telegraph operators had to read a message to send it, those […] Continue reading

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Getting Our Priorities in Order

“The role of government is to secure for citizens the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In that order. It’s like a filter. If the government wants to do something that makes us a little unhappy, or takes away some of our liberty, it’s okay, providing they’re doing it to save our […] Continue reading

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Mining Student Data Poses More Threats Than it Resolves

In the article “Mining Student Data Could Save Lives” Michael Morris makes an interesting point about data mining on college campuses. According to Morris, since college students are already using accounts and internet access provided by the school, there is no reason that colleges should not be able to monitor student data for early warning […] Continue reading

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Finding the Balance of Confidence and Cryptography

The bigger they are, the harder they fall. In chapter one of The Code Bookby Simon Singh, Singh states that “…a weak encryption can be worse than no encryption at all” (Singh, 41). When it comes to cryptography, this could not be more true. A successfully encrypted message should only be decipherable to the intended […] Continue reading

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