Tim May's Passing Confirmed

John Young jya at pipeline.com
Wed Dec 19 14:57:11 PST 2018

James Ellis was forerunner of Cocks' PKC in 1970, 
"conceived of the possibility of "non-secret 
encryption", more commonly termed 


Diffie-Hellman is sometimes suggested to have 
been aided by NSA whispered nudging of GCHQ 
classified efforts. Diffie denies this. To be 
sure, crypto leaking strengths and vulns is 
inherent in crypto wars. Not many know of 
Diffie's TEMPEST hair which bypasses NSA's TSCM during visits.

At 05:04 PM 12/19/2018, you wrote:

>On Saturday, December 15, 2018, 11:10:46 PM PST, 
>grarpamp <grarpamp at gmail.com> wrote:
>Author: Steven Levy
>security 02.01.93 12:00 pm
>Crypto Rebels
>It's the FBIs, NSAs, and Equifaxes of the world versus a swelling
>movement of Cypherpunks, civil libertarians, and millionaire hackers.
> >By 1977, three members of this new community created a set of
>algorithms that implemented the Diffie-Hellman scheme. Called RSA for
>its founders—MIT scientiists Rivest, Shamir, and Adleman—it offered
>encryption that was likely to be stronger than the Data Encryption
>Standard (DES), a government-approved alternative that does not use
>public keys. The actual strength of key-based cryptographic systems
>rests largely in the size of the key—in other words, how many bits of
>information make up the key. The larger the key, the harder it is to
>break the code. While DES, which was devised at IBM's research lab,
>limits key size to 56 bits, RSA keys could be any size. (The trade-off
>was that bigger keys are unwieldy, and RSA runs much more slowly than
>DES.) But DES had an added burden: Rumors abounded that the NSA had
>forced IBM to intentionally weaken the system so that the government
>could break DES-encoded messages. RSA did not have that stigma. (The
>NSA has denied these rumors.)
>We have since learned that what became the RSA 
>system started out by being invented by British 
>GCHQ employee Clifford 
>"Clifford Christopher Cocks 
>(born 28 December 1950) is a British 
>mathematician and 
>In 1973, while working at the United Kingdom 
>Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), he invented 
>key cryptography algorithm equivalent to what 
>would become (in 1978) the 
><https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSA_(algorithm)>RSA algorithm.
>The idea was 
>information and his insight remained hidden for 
>24 years, despite being independently invented 
>  and 
>Public-key cryptography using 
>factorisation is now part of nearly every 
>[end of quote from Wikipedia.]
>I, Jim Bell, had my "Forrest Gump" moment, I 
>believe during the first days of February 
>1977.  Very soon after my return to the MIT 
>campus, I was walking through the hallways of 
>Building 2, the Mathematics Department.  Posted, 
>behind glass, were what I now believe was a 
>statement of the RSA system. I think they had 
>posted it in order to irrevocably make it no longer secret.
>I suppose if I wanted to pump up my credentials, 
>I could say that I immediately recognized the 
>importance of this revelation.  Unfortunately, 
>my reaction (if put into text) was far closer to "Huh???".
>                 Jim Bell

More information about the cypherpunks mailing list