What is appropriate encryption?
Not all cryptography is created equal. What is secure in one context can be dangerous in another.
Sketch 1 (1,500 characters)
Using a dressing screen for privacy doesn't work if the outside world can get in and view what you are doing simply by looking over or around the screen. Cryptography is not so very different. I would extend this type of approach visually to related technical matters, such as evaluating risks, weighing the value and sensitivity of information, enumerating financial and other costs, checking regulatory and other constraints, and in general, the entire process of balancing these kinds of consideration.
Sketch 2 (1,500 characters)
I believe that narrative stories can help teach cryptographic issues and solutions by analogizing them to other struggles in the real world, and can provide insight into what is being (or not) done. For example, many years ago, I trekked in remote Africa with a friend. We had to protect our donkeys from predators. Without the donkeys, we would have perished. We refused to carry guns (because the locals might kill us to get them). We built a V-shaped thorn enclosure from fallen trees each night to protect the donkeys while we camped. We built a fire at the open end and kept it going. One night hyenas attacked. Jackals aided them. By luck our flashlights blinded them just before they reached the donkeys, and drove them off. Illustrations of the tale and of the security analogues are rich material to engage viewers in an entertaining way that is perhaps more understandable to them than encryption itself, as a metaphor for what encryption similarly tries to achieve.
What have you learned through this sketching process? (1,000 characters)
With some creative imagination, even abstract notions of cryptography can be made fun and informative.
Tell us more about you. (1,000 characters)
In the 1990's I became fascinated with cryptography, although my training and profession up until then was as a lawyer. I taught myself cryptography, following the inspiration principally of Bruce Schneier. Over time, I invented and patented methods for Internet digital signatures and message encryption, which later were purchased by a commercial enterprise.
In my professional legal life, I joined the Information Security Committee of the American Bar Association, and participated in its e-Notary and Digital Signature proposed lawmaking and industry-influencing efforts. I co-founded and chaired Legal XML, a division of OASIS. Cybersecurity has always been a passion of mine. I am presently retired. In retirement, I also write books and produce digital art.
Why are you participating in this Challenge? (750 characters)
I first learned of the challenge yesterday from an emailed newsletter. I would love to participate, as it allows me to combine my passions for cybersecurity and illustrative art.
(not updated for retirement yet; encryption patents are listed and described).
(illustrated child's storybook)
(second illustrated child's storybook)
What is your experience with the field of cybersecurity?
I have considerable experience and/or knowledge in the cybersecurity field.
How did you hear about this OpenIDEO Challenge?
Someone in my network (word of mouth)
Location: State / District