Does Cryptography protect the rights of individuals or corporations or both? An investigation into the .
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The beginning of a new century has also brought with it a new way of life as computer and communication technologies have radically altered the ways in which we communicate and exchange information. With the increasing importance of computer systems and the immense popularity of the World Wide Web (www), the security and confidentiality of data has also become a major issue in today's society. This change in communication has necessitated the re-modeling of the security techniques that were previously used to maintain data confidentiality. Cryptography is one of these newly created methods. However, the statement "With every solution arises a new problem", has again proven to be correct as the issue of whether cryptography protects the rights of individuals and/or corporations has risen to the spotlight.
Before discussing whether or not Cryptography protects the rights of individuals and/or corporations, we must understand the basic processes, principals and concepts involved in encrypting data/information. Cryptography is the science of encoding a message into a form that is unreadable and making sure only the appropriate people are capable of decoding the message back into its original form . Encryption and decryption algorithms (mathematical functions used to encrypt and decrypt messages), which are often the same, are used to encode the messages. A secret key, used in co-operation with these algorithms, is required to encrypt and decrypt a message. Furthermore, a message cannot be decrypted unless the key matches the encryption key. There are two classes of key-based encryption algorithms, symmetric (or secret-key) and asymmetric (or public-key) algorithms . The symmetric algorithm usually uses the same key for encryption and decryption. If this is not the case, the decryption key can be easily worked out from the encryption key.