Date of Award

Spring 6-3-2017

Document Type

Honors Project

University Scholars Director

Dr. Jeff Keuss

First Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. Mike Tindall

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Prof. Elaine Weltz

Keywords

Encryption, Backdoor, Quantum Computing, Ethics

Abstract

In the age of technological advancement and the digitization of information, privacy seems to be all but an illusion. Encryption is supposed to be the white knight that keeps our information and communications safe from unwanted eyes, but how secure are the encryption algorithms that we use? Do we put too much trust in those that are charged with implementing our everyday encryption systems? This paper addresses the concept of backdoors in encryption: ways that encryption systems can be implemented so that the security can be bypassed by those that know about its existence. Many governments around the world are pushing for these kinds of bypassing mechanisms to exist so that they may utilize them. The paper discusses the ethical implications of these policies as well as how our current encryption algorithms will hold up to future technology such as quantum computers.

Comments

A project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Scholars Program.

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