Sources of Crypto Information

Timothy C. May tcmay at
Fri Dec 4 13:23:43 PST 1992

Cypherspace Residents,

Several people have asked about what PGP is, how RSA works, what
digital cash is all about, etc. I'll recap where and how these
questions can be answered.

1. Long term, there will be a FAQ, to be coordinated by Hugh Daniel,
who recently posted about this.

2. I posted or mentioned the following items to this list very recently:

- Crypto Glossary (which explains, albeit briefly, RSA, digital cash,
DC-Nets, PGP, etc.). This has been also been submitted for the
anonymous ftp site (at in pub/cypherpunks).

- Larry Loen's crypto FAQ he posted to sci.crypt recently. This was
also submitted for the  ftp site.

3. The documentation for PGP has a good discussion of the issues, how
the IDEA cipher works, etc. Read this, please, before asking the
entire list how RSA works.

4. "Cypherpunks read crypto books" is my variant of Eric's
"Cypherpunks write code." (No point in trying to write code if you
don't have any idea what you're doing.) I've described many excellent
books and articles. Almost any recent book will give you an excellent
list of other books.

5. Hal Finney and Karl Barrus have both written excellent summaries
of how digital cash works. Work through their examples! (A personal
note: I'm blissfully PERL-illiterate, but I use Mathematica on my Mac,
so Karl's examples in Mathematica overjoyed me!)

6. Several weeks ago I posted some articles on the dining
cryptographers protocol, as Hal also did. I can send these to anyone
who wasn't on the list then. (Ditto for the Crypto Glossary.)

7. Sci.crypt is worth reading, especially if you have a good
newsreader like "tin" which allows interesting threads to be quickly

Hope this helps.


Timothy C. May         | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,  
tcmay at       | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
408-688-5409           | knowledge, reputations, information markets, 
W.A.S.T.E.: Aptos, CA  | black markets, collapse of governments.
Higher Power: 2^756839 | PGP Public Key: by arrangement.

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