Science: An Uncrackable Code?

The snoops may finally have met their match

Almost as soon as humans learned to write, they were devising ways to keep their messages secret. The Old Testament tells how the Prophet Jeremiah used a code word for Babylon. Julius Caesar often encrypted his messages by substituting letters three places farther on in the alphabet, i.e. D replaces A; E replaces B. But no matter how clever they may have been, the codes of antiquity—or of more recent times—rarely withstood the efforts of skilled code breakers. Mary Queen of Scots was ordered beheaded after...

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