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Editing Milestones-Nomination talk:Invention of Public-key Cryptography

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Citation wording118:22, 18 August 2011

Citation wording

Jacob Baal-Schem has approved the following citation:

At GCHQ, by 1975 James Ellis had proved that a symmetric secret-key system is unnecessary and Clifford Cocks with Martin Williamson showed how such 'public-key cryptography' could be achieved. Until then it was believed that secure communication was impossible without exchange of a secret key, with key distribution a major impediment. With these discoveries the essential principles were known but were kept secret until 1997. (65 words)

I suggest rearranging the sentences and eliminating a conjunctive qualifier to simplify the linear historic narrative and meaning for general readers:

Until 1975 it was believed that secure communication was impossible without exchange of a secret key. At GCHQ James Ellis proved that a symmetric secret-key system is unnecessary and Clifford Cocks with Martin Williamson showed how 'public-key cryptography' could be achieved. With these discoveries the essential principles were known but were kept secret until 1997. (55 words)

This is not entirely clean and I welcome changes to align the dating of the three men's activities with the 1969-75 period in the title.

Amagoun15:46, 23 September 2009