Can Cryptography Frustrate Fascism?

Phillip Rogaway

Phillip Rogaway

Speaker Bio

Phillip Rogaway studied cryptography at MIT (1991), then worked as a security architect for IBM before joining the faculty at the University of California, Davis in 1994. Co-inventor of “practice-oriented provable security,” Phil’s work seeks to meld cryptographic theory and cryptographic practice in a mutually beneficial way.  Beyond his technical work, Phil is also interested in social and ethical problems associated to technology.


The Internet and the telephone, once imagined to be profoundly democratizing, have evolved in ways that breathe new life into unchecked consumerism and authoritarian nationalism. A hope going back to the early cypherpunks is that cryptography might help — that its artful use might protect, restore, or expand democratic values threatened by technologies of surveillance and control.  Is this hope remotely realistic?  I offer no definitive answer, but will share my thoughts in this connection.