For as long as we have been able to communicate, we have needed to deliver secret messages. To prevent important information from falling into the wrong hands, our ancestors devised ever more intriguing ways of disguising the content of a message. One of the first methods used to hide messages was devised by the Spartan army over two and a half thousand years ago. The sender and recipient each had a cylinder of exactly the same dimensions called a scytale. To encode a message, the sender would first wrap a narrow strip of parchment around the scytale so that it spiraled down the cylinder. One would then write the message on the parchment along the length of the scytale. Once the parchment was unwound, the text looked meaningless. Only when it was wrapped around an identical scytale would the message reappear. Since then, successive generations have concocted ever more sophisticated cryptographic methods. The development of new methods went along with the development of new devices and tools that led to mechanical encoding and use of the Internet.
One of the main objectives of this event is to provide a venue to bring together speakers and experts from different areas related to cryptography and intelligence. It also offers an opportunity to enhance our understanding of these areas from an academic point of view without any political bias. In particular, the conference focuses on technical aspects of modern cryptography and its history dating back to the investigation of the famous Enigma. Thus, special attention and a majority of the conference will be devoted to intelligence, secret communication and its connections with the world of cryptography. The intelligence section deals with the past, the present and the future by accounting for some of its history to its current importance while explaining and specifying some of the main problems.
The conference will provide a historical overview of the development of cryptology and cryptography in the last half-century. In addition, it focuses on comparing the importance of different cultural perspectives for managing intelligence information. In some sections different mathematical frameworks will be explored that were and are related to cryptography and related areas. The conference will also provide insight into different kinds of management styles in managing Intelligence and Crypto Departments.
The conference will also offer the possibility of having a special private viewing of crypto-machines and radio intelligence devices from the Vojenský historický ústav and other institutions.
The final part of the conference will be devoted to high school students and to enhance the diffusion of some basic concepts coming from cryptography and intelligence in order to offer different perspectives in teaching and education with classic subjects such as mathematics and information technology.
The conference will be held at Prague College from the 30th of May to the 2nd of June and has been organised through successful cooperation between Prague College, Charles University, Vojenský historický ústav, NBU and Europeum.