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EarthWeb.com: Phil Zimmermann: Programmer as Celebrity

Nov 08, 2000, 00:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Cameron Laird)

"Meet Phil Zimmermann, creator of the Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) encryption suite and one of the world's best-known cryptographers."

"Programmers can be celebrities too. Just ask Philip (Phil) Zimmermann. He's spent most of the last decade as a folk hero, and admits to having enjoyed that status. Just this summer, he suffered the flip side of fame as wildly inflated rumors circulated about his role in compromising the security of the PGP encryption suite, and he watched his e-mail inbox fill with venom."

"He recognizes it comes with the territory. Zimmermann is probably the world's best-known cryptographer. He created the Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) encryption suite in 1991. Since then, it has come to dominate the market for programming protection of online confidentiality. PGP has been heralded for its role in protecting numerous political dissidents around the world, and earned Zimmermann the prestigious Norbert Wiener Award for responsible use of technology in 1996, as well as the 1995 Chrysler Award for Innovation in Design, and a 1998 Lifetime Achievement Award from Secure Computing Magazine, along with at least a dozen other distinctions. It also brought him into highly public patent disputes with RSA Data Security Inc., and a nightmarish multi-year criminal investigation by the United States government."

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