Cryptography is the art of making and breaking codes. Crypto is at the center of electronic privacy, being able to communicate privately with whom you choose -- and keeping everyone else, including government agents, from listening in.

For many years, the United States considered encryption technology a munition, putting it under the same export controls used for nuclear weapons. Ironically, a physical copy of the computer source code for an encryption algorithm could be exported outside the United States without controls, but an electronic copy of the same code was restricted.

In 2000, the U.S. government lifted export controls on strong encryption.

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