The Necessity Of Computer Security Essay Research

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The Necessity Of Computer Security Essay, Research Paper The Necessity Of Computer Security When the first electronic computers emerged from university and military laboratories in the late 1940s and early 1950s, visionaries proclaimed them the harbingers of a second industrial revolution that would transform business, government and industry. But few laymen, even if they were aware of the machines, could see the connection. Experts too, were sceptical. Not only were computers huge, expensive, one-of-a-kind devices designed for performing abstruse scientific and military calculations, such as cracking codes and calculations missile trajectories, they were also extremely difficult to handle. Now, it is clear that computers are not only here to stay, but they have a profound

effect on society as well. As John McCarthy, Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, speculated in 1966: “The computer gives signs of becoming the contemporary counterpart of the steam engine that brought on the industrial revolution – one that is still gathering momentum and whose true nature had yet to be seen.” Today’s applications of computers are vast. They are used to run ordinary household appliances such as televisions and microwaves, to being tools in the workplaces through word processing, spreadsheets, and graphics software, to running monumental tasks such as being the heart and soul of the nations tax processing department, and managing the project timetables of the Space Shuttle. It is obvious that the computer is now and always will be

inexorably linked to our lives, and we have no choice but to accept this technology and learn how to harness its total potential. With any progressing technology, an unauthorized application can almost be found for it. A computer could and has been used for theft and fraud – for example, as a database and manager of illegal activities such as drug trafficking and pornography. However, we must not just consider the harmful applications of the computer, but also take into account the good that they have caused. When society embraced the computer technology, we have to treat this as an extension of what we already have at hand. This means that some problems that we had before the computer era may also arise now, in the form where computers are an accessory to a crime. One of the

problems that society has faced ever since the dawn of civilization is privacy. The issue of privacy on the Internet has risen many arguments for and against having it. The issue of privacy has gotten to the point where the government of the United States has placed a bill promoting a single chip to encrypt all private material on the Internet. Why is privacy so important? Hiding confidential material from intruders does not necessarily mean that what we keep secret it illegal. Since ancient times, people have trusted couriers to carry their messages. We seal out messages in a envelope when sending mail through the postal service. Using computer and encrypting programs to transfer electronic messages securely is not different from sending a letter the old-fashioned way. This

paper will examine the modern methods of encrypting messages and analyse why Phil Zimmerman created an extremely powerful civilian encipherment program, called the PGP, for “Pretty Good Privacy.” In particular, by focusing on cryptography, which was originally intended for military use, this paper will examine just how easy it is to conclude why giving civilians a military-grade encrypting program such as the PGP may be dangerous to national security. Therefore, with any type of new technology, this paper will argue that the application of cryptography for civilian purposes is not just a right, but is also a necessity. Increasingly in today’s era of computer technology, not only banks but also businesses and government agencies are turning to encryption. Computer security