Unit 3: Codes from history

Throughout history many different inventors, and innovative thinkers have divided ways in which messages between two people, or between different groups of people can be kept secret from anyone who wishes to tune in themselves.

If I was to send a message to my friend saying hello I don’t think I would mind too much if somebody was to find out. It would be an invasion of privacy yet due to the fact that this information can’t be used against me I wouldn’t be so frightened.

There are many instances however where messages must be kept secret to stop negative repercussions.

Throughout World War Two one of the most important aspects of communication was the ability to keep your message secret from the enemy. If the enemy was to find out about your war plans for example many men may loose their lives. Thus things like carrier pigeons where used. However the most effective form of encoded communications was produced through a machine called an enigma (German designed). This was essentially a typewriter that produced highly encrypted messages. The author would create a piece of text then by turning a wheel an exact number of times the message became scrambled. This number was then known by the receiver of the message and thus by turning the wheel back a message was shown.

By the year 1932 however the polish intercepted one of these machines themselves and thus was able to break down the hidden messages the germans where sending. This was one of the advantages that helped win the war.

Today encrypting messages is very similar to the enigma machine but on a much larger scale. instead of a few wheels being spun to encrypt a message hundreds of digital wheels are spun each day to keep unsafe eyes from viewing your private messages online.


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