The events of September 2001 in the U.S. and in the middle east will influence the future of cryptologic research. Once more, the power of cryptography is discussed in the media and by parlaments. Fortunately, public knowledge about cryptography seems good enough today so that the call for "backdoors" in all encryption programs is widely recognized as infeasible. At least the first voices who proposed such measures did not find an echo.
But cryptology researchers should not lean back: we still have to keep our eyes open and actively engage in protecting free research in cryptology, and also in related areas like computer security. For one, the September events have already distracted from the hottest crypto-political discussion topic in 2001 until August: digital content protection, the DMCA, Napster etc. But another area to watch closely is the debate about privacy -- it has not become any easier.
This newsletter issue contains updated information on the IACR 2001 elections, which suffer from the current delays in the postal system, and the announcement of an important new book about the foundations of cryptography.
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The next issue of the IACR Newsletter is scheduled for publication in February 2002. However, announcements will be posted on the IACR Website as soon as possible.
IACR Newsletter Editor
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