Author Archives: Xinyi Zhang

Criteria for Debate

The first criteria I am planning to use to evaluate the two teams is clarity of argument. This refers to whether the presenter can clearly convey the main points they are trying to make in an orderly manner. I am looking to see if I can isolate some a sort of thesis statement in each […] Continue reading

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Effective Podcasting

In the Darkode episode, the podcast producer structures the podcast as two narratives scattered with technical information to make the material more interesting. The first story told in the Darkode episode is about Alina Simone, who was extorted by a cybercriminal. The producer invited all the people involved in her story, including herself, her daughter […] Continue reading

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Social Media as Proof Surveillance Affects Behaviour

“In his book Discipline and Punish, philosopher Michel Foucault describes how surveillance operates as a mechanism of control. When inmates believe they are being watched, they conform to what they believe to be the norms of the prison and the expectations of their jailors. Surveillance is a mechanism by which powerful entities assert their power […] Continue reading

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Privacy and Changing with the Times

In my opinion, the best argument for making strong encryption available to the general public is the necessity of privacy for the individual and businesses. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, privacy is a fundamental human right. An idea that was highlighted in Little Brother was having privacy is liberating and everyone needs […] Continue reading

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Sounds in Cryptography and Podcasts

What I found most interesting about the “Vox Ex Machina” podcast was Homer Dudley’s choice to use a pair of vinyl phonograph records as the key both the encryption and decryption process. Prior to listening to this podcast, I had not considered noise could be used as an encryption method. What surprised me even more […] Continue reading

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A Higher Moral Purpose

The Chancellor’s Lecture series featured guest General Michael V. Hayden, the former NSA and CIA director interviewed by Chancellor Zeppos and Professor Jon Meacham. A topic General Hayden addressed was the morality and ethicality of his past work. He acknowledged “We (intelligence agencies) operate in a grey space…It (the work of the CIA and NSA) […] Continue reading

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Necessity and Usability

The primary factor favouring the advancement of military cryptography is when a country realizes their war efforts have been compromised due to the lack of strong encryption. For example, Arthur Scherbius’ Enigma machine was unpopular with the German military prior to the publishing of the histories of the First World War as written by Winston […] Continue reading

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Safeguards for Privacy

I can say with certainty I would give up some of my privacy to feel safer however, I would not give up all of it. The USA PATRIOT Act passed after 9/11 in my opinion disregards the trust of the American people in the government. For example, part of the USA PATRIOT Act, passed after […] Continue reading

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Academic Integrity Beyond the Scope of College

During the Honour Council’s “Academic Integrity 101: Winning the Right Way”, Nitya Venkat’s perspective on academic integrity stood out to me. Nitya Venkat is a MHS and Neuroscience major who is also the Vice President of the Undergraduate Honour Council. She highlighted that academic integrity was important to her beyond the scope of college. Nitya […] Continue reading

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Why The Great Cipher Remained Great

The Great Cipher used by Louis XIV encoded syllables and single letters using 587 different numbers and remained unbroken for 200 years. One factor contributing to the strength of this cipher could be that during the time period in which the cipher was in use, the most well known ciphers included the monoalphabetic substitution cipher, […] Continue reading

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