The History and Mathematics of Codes and Code Breaking

Episode 48 – The Right to Be Forgotten

by Angela Brinckerhoff

Footprint in the sand on a beachIn today’s world, it’s not very hard to find information about anyone, no matter how personal. Our posts, public records, employment history, etc. can all be uncovered within a few clicks. A University of Washington team of researchers created a project called Vanish to address this, making it possible to permanently erase personal data. This project brings up the central debate of the “right to be forgotten” movement, discussing the legality and prospect of deleting data from public databases and web searches. This podcast discusses the system behind Vanish and the different sides of the “right to be forgotten” debate. Special thanks to Amelia Muir, Henoc Zinga, and Justin Terry for their contributions.

Auxier, B. (2020, August 17). Most Americans support right to have some personal info removed from online searches. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from

DeWeerdt, S. (2021, April 15). A Welcome Disappearing Act. Retrieved from

Geambasu, Roxana et. al. (2021, April 15). Enhancing the Privacy of the Web with
Self-Destructing Data. Retrieved from

Heilweil, R. (2018, March 05). How Close Is An American Right-To-Be-Forgotten? Forbes. Retrieved from

Markoff, J. (2009, July 20). New Technology to Make Digital Data Self-Destruct. Retrieved from

Audio Sources:

Image: Footprints in the sand,” Susanne Nilsson, Flickr CC BY-SA

Episode 47 – PRISM

by Rishabh Gharekhan

Newsstand with Wired magazine covers featuring Edward SnowdenThis podcast explains the story of Edward Snowden and the PRISM program. In 2013, Snowden leaked classified government secrets exposing the National Security Agency’s widespread mass surveillance programs. PRISM was one of these. Using discreet legal pathways, the NSA was tapping directly into the servers of American companies including Apple, Google, Microsoft. Snowden’s revelations shocked the American public due to the violations of privacy. The exposure of this program led to quick damage control. However, the damage had already been done which has continued to raise questions over how safe our data is online.

Works Cited:

Fitzpatrick, A. (2013, June 7). NSA Leak: Internet Giants Let Government Tap Your Data. Mashable.

Greenwald, G., & MacAskill, E. (2017, December 29). NSA Prism program taps in to user data of Apple, Google and others. The Guardian.

Greenwald, G., MacAskill, E., & Poitras, L. (2021, March 24). Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations. The Guardian.

Lee, T. (2013, June 6). How Congress unknowingly legalized PRISM in 2007. The Washington Post.

Seifert, D. (2013, June 7). Secret program gives NSA, FBI backdoor access to Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft data. The Verge.

Snowden Timeline. (2019, January 9). Government Accountability Project.

West, A. (2013, July 9). 17 disturbing things Snowden has taught us (so far). The World from PRX.

Whittaker, Z. (2013, June 8). PRISM: Here’s how the NSA wiretapped the Internet. ZDNet.



Orange Free Sounds:

  • Chillout Downtempo Music Loop
  • Mysterious Synth Pad
  • Tremolo Electric Guitar Music Loop
  • Symbiosis Ambient Lounge


  • Enigmatic

Fesliyan Studios:

  • Land of Fantasy

Obama Clip:

News Clip (June 6, 2013 – 100 Seconds of News):

Further Reading:

Image: Edward Snowden,” Mike Mozart, Flickr CC BY

Episode 46 – USA PATRIOT Act

by Thomas Riker

NSA data center in Bluffdale, UtahThe attacks on September 11th, 2001 deeply affected America and its citizens. In its aftermath came the USA PATRIOT act, a far-reaching piece of legislation that was passed both in the Senate and the House of Representatives by an overwhelming majority. The act contained many provisions that expanded the scope of the government and its agencies in the hopes of catching terrorists, so as to prevent the next 9/11 from ever occurring. This podcast discusses the Patriot Act generally and its effects, mostly on regular American citizens, and raises questions about the debate between personal privacy and national security.


Ahmed, A., & Senzai, F. (2017, August 5). The USA Patriot Act: Impact on the Arab and Muslim American Community. Institute for Social Policy and Understanding.

Duignan, B. (2020). Reauthorizations. Encyclopædia Britannica.

Jenks, R. (2001, December). The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001. Center for Immigration Studies.

Staff, A.C.L.U. (2011). Surveillance Under the Patriot Act. American Civil Liberties Union.

Staff, A.C.L.U. (2015, May 12). End Mass Surveillance Under the Patriot Act. American Civil Liberties Union.

Staff, A.C.L.U. (2021). Surveillance Under the USA/PATRIOT Act. American Civil Liberties Union.

Welling, A. (2001, October 24). Man admits setting fire at curry eatery.

Audio Sources:

1* A story read by Rishabh Gharekhan taken from the website:

Welling, A. (2001, October 24). Man admits setting fire at curry eatery.

2* A story told to me by my AP English Language teacher during my senior year at Canisius High School, read by my friend Mia.  “Above the Clouds”

Image: NSA Data Center,” Cory Doctorow, Flickr CC BY

Episode 45 – The Fourth Amendment

by Nathan Chang

Rotary phoneThis podcast gives insight into the progression of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution through time via two court cases, Carpenter v. United States and Smith v. Maryland. These two cases were both integral to how the advancement of technology has affected American legislation by addressing intrusive surveillance technology such as pen registers and CSLI, or cell-site location information. With new technology constantly springing up, our privacy has never been more vulnerable.

Works Cited
Carpenter v. United States. (n.d.). Oyez. Retrieved April 7, 2021, from

Cedarbaum, J., Cahill, N., & McHale, S. (2019, June 20). Digital Data Privacy One Year After Carpenter. Retrieved April 8, 2021, from

Kerr, O. [@OrinKerr]. (2018, June 22). It occurs, to me, though, that a ton of work is being done in the opinion by the Court’s lack [Tweet]. Twitter.

Matsakis, L. (2018, June 22). Carpenter v. United States decision Strengthens digital privacy. Retrieved April 08, 2021, from

Smith v. Maryland. (n.d.). Oyez. Retrieved April 17, 2021, from

Wessler, N. (2017, April 11). Cell phone records can show where you sleep and where you pray. Retrieved April 08, 2021, from

Audio Sources

Retrieved from
● Big Glass Breaking Combo Sound Effect
● AR10 7.62×51 308 Close Single Gunshot A Sound Effect
● Rifle Burst Fire D Sound Effect
● Suspenseful Dialogue
● Too Crazy
● Sentimental Dialogue
● Time Alone

Image: Analog,” Derek Bruff, Flickr, CC BY-NC

Episode 44 – P vs. NP

by Thomas Ditsworth

Chalkboard diagram showing P vs. NPWhile many people rely on the internet for everything from casual emails to secure banking transactions, most don’t understand the security behind it. In this podcast, we will discuss a computer science problem that is the basis behind our most current methods of encryption. In turn, we will explore where the encryption is used, the math behind why it is so secure, and how further innovation could put it all in jeopardy.

Baumhof, A. (2019, June 13). Andreas Baumhof. QuintessenceLabs.

Hackerdashery. (2014, August 26). P vs. NP and the Computational Complexity Zoo
[Video]. YouTube.

Hardesty, L. (2009, October 29). Explained: P vs. NP. MIT News | Massachusetts
Institute of Technology.

Lake, J. (2021, March 18). What is RSA encryption and how does it work? Comparitech.

Pavlus, J. (2020, April 2). What Does ‘P vs. NP’ Mean for the Rest of Us? MIT
Technology Review.

The Millennium Prize Problems | Clay Mathematics Institute. (2021, April 19). Clay
Mathematics Institute.

Watson, J. (2017, March 16). Public key cryptography: What is it, how it works and how to use it in email and file encryption. Comparitech.

Audio From

Royalty Free Music by Bensound | Stock Music. (n.d.). BenSound. Retrieved March 31, 2021, from

For more information check out the following links to other resources about topics discussed in this podcast:
P vs NP and the Computational Complexity Zoo
Are you Ready for the Quantum Computing Revolution?

Image: Screenshot from “P vs. NP and the Computational Complexity Zoo.”

Episode 43 – Cicada 3301

by Sebastian Garaycochea

Cicada 3301 LogoOn January 4th 2012 a mysterious post appears on the infamous 4chan website, leaving everyone “puzzled”. The post says that they are looking for highly talented individuals and that there is a message hidden within it. From this stems one of the most intricate scavenger hunt of recent history, stemming to three highly complex puzzles and the search for the mysterious group behind the post. This episode talks about this mystery and the secret group of 3301 that’s behind it. The episode aims to answer the questions Who is 3301? What is their purpose? And finally, What has led them to exist? In this podcast we will also be analyzing and solving the puzzles posted by 3301. If you are interested in creepy mysteries, be sure to give this podcast a listen and follow me into this rabbit hole.

Works Cited

Kushner, D. (2015, January 15). Cicada: Solving the Web’s Deepest Mystery. Rolling Stone.

Åhlén, J. (n.d.). Cicada 3301 First Puzzle Walkthrough | Boxentriq. Boxentriq. Retrieved April 16, 2021, from

Andrei, M. (2021, February 1). Cicada 3301: A puzzle for the brightest minds, posted by an unknown, mysterious organization. ZME Science.

Agate Level Up. (2019, March 22). ARG’s Power to Spread Brand Awareness.

Corcoran, K. (2018, January 16). GCHQ is using this puzzle to recruit aspiring female spies – try it out. Business Insider.

Bergen, M. (2015, August 26). “Puzzles Are Fun. Search On”: Google Cops to Secret Recruiting Tool Baked Inside Search. Vox.

Bell, B. C. (2013, November 25). The internet mystery that has the world baffled. The Telegraph.

Hern, A. (2020, April 3). Cicada 3301: I tried the hardest puzzle on the internet and failed spectacularly. The Guardian.

Xaxanon. (2012, January 20). 00008.MTS [Video]. YouTube.

LEMINO. (2018, May 19). Cicada 3301: An Internet Mystery [Video]. YouTube.

Nox Populi. (2016, May 20). 2012 Cicada 3301 Solutions Part 1 [Video]. YouTube.

Audio Sources

Great Big Story. (2016, May 20). 2012 Cicada 3301 Solutions Part 1 [Video]. YouTube.

habitres. (2012, January 10). Voice On Phone – Cicada 3301 [Video]. YouTube.

Anon Ymous. (2013, January 5). Cicada 3301 Song: The Instar Emergence (761) [Video]. YouTube.

Background Music

All music from Orange Free Sounds (

Track 1: Alexander Blu. (2019, December 8). Creepy Music Box. Orange Free Sounds.

Track 2: Alexander Blu. (2019, September 10). Halloween Creepy Music. Orange Free Sounds.

Additional Information

Bassil, M. (2020, May 28). Cicada 3301: the coders still working on the internet’s strangest mystery. The Face.

Image: Cicada 3301 Logo, creator unknown

Episode 42 – The Border Exception

by Isaac Taylor

Border control sign requiring visitors to check inDid you know that border protection agents have near-free rein over your personal belongings if you’re traveling into the United States? Does that seem shocking or even a little invasive? How did this come to be? This episode of One-Time Pod aims to answer those questions by addressing the origin of the border exception as well as to raise new ones regarding our attempts to maintain our privacy in an ever-changing world.


Alasaad v. McAleenan: Federal District court RULES suspicionless searches of smart phones at U.S. ports of ENTRY UNCONSTITUTIONAL. (2020, January 05). Retrieved April 30, 2021, from

ALASAAD v. Nielsen – Exhibit 1: Declaration of Plaintiff GHASSAN ALASAAD. (2021, April 23). Retrieved April 30, 2021, from

The border search muddle. (2019, June 01). Retrieved April 30, 2021, from

Dec 23, 2. (2019, December 30). Federal, state court rulings on whether BIOMETRICS protected by Fifth Amendment GET murky: Biometric update. Retrieved April 30, 2021, from

Ghassan and Nadia Alasaad. (n.d.). Retrieved April 30, 2021, from

Keller, J. (2020, May 30). How to quickly disable face ID and Touch ID on iPhone and iPad. Retrieved April 30, 2021, from

Meyers, J. (2018, August 06). How to quickly Disable FINGERPRINTS & smart lock in Android pie for extra security. Retrieved April 30, 2021, from

Audio Sources:

  • “Ocean Waves – ambient music” from
  • “Ambient Piano and Pad – Ambient Piano Music” from
  • “NightLife – Michael Kobrin” from
  • “Espace, libre, mystére, intrigue, instrument, instruments – Jacques Barrette” from
  • “Sea Waves” from Soundbible
  • “Shoresbirds Talking on Beach” from Soundbible
  • “Crowd Chatter 01” from Soundgator

Links to Helpful Websites:

Image: Report to US Customs and Border Protection,” Tony Webster, Flickr, CC BY-SA

Episode 41 – Facial Recognition

by P. C.

Masks meant to foil facial recognitionChinese citizens are always being watched by their police and government. The government claims it is to ensure that their citizens are as safe as can be. But, what if this power was abused and used for the wrong reasons? Security cameras and AI-driven facial recognition technology are becoming more and more prevalent in China. In this episode, we delve into the complicated truth regarding the surveillance state that is China.

● How to Pronounce 谢谢 Xie Xie (say Thank You) in Chinese | speak Mandarin Chinese,
● Feeling Low (Sad Lofi type Beat) | [Free No Copyright Music],
● free muisc [No Copyright Music] Folk Chinese,
● Breaking News – Free Sound Effect,
● No copyright Tape Rewind sound effect || Tape Rewind || No copyright Effects,
● No Copyright Music, Beautiful Chinese Music,Bamboo Flute,Calm Music, Relaxation Music,Meditation,
● Background Music for Videos | Meditation Ambient Relax Yoga Calm,

Campbell, Charlie. (2019, November 2019). What China’s Surveillance Means for the Rest of the World. Time.

Davies, D. (2021, January 5). Facial recognition and beyond: Journalist ventures inside china’s ‘surveillance state’.

Denyer, S. (2018, January 7). China’s watchful eye. The Washington Post.

Kobie, N. (2019, June 7). The complicated truth about China’s social credit system. WIRED UK.

Ng, A. (2020, August 11). China tightens control with facial recognition, public shaming. CNET.

Image: Disinformation,” Derek Bruff, Flickr, CC BY-NC

Episode 40 – Gait Recognition

by Ethan Barr

People walking on a city sidewalkIn this podcast I bring awareness to the future of surveillance, through gait recognition, while also describing the way it has developed over the recent years. This idea of being identifiable through the way you walk brings up the questions of whether it is an intrusion to one’s privacy or strictly a moral form of surveillance. These questions are left unanswered in the podcast, but through the information available to you, as the audience, think about the stance and how you perceive this type of surveillance. I wanted this podcast to draw those thoughts by being informative and interesting. I hope this podcast can get you thinking about the way you are being watched and how easily identifiable everyone may be in the near future.


Giles, J. (2012, September 19). Cameras know you by your walk. New Scientist. Retrieved from

Kang, D. (2018, November 06). Chinese ‘gait recognition’ TECH Ids people by how they walk. Associated Press. Retrieved from

Xu, S. (2020, August 5). Emotion Recognition From Gait Analyses: Current Research and Future Directions (Rep.). Retrieved from

Schmelzer, R. (2020, July 1). Can AI Detect Your Emotion Just By How You Walk? Forbes.

Image: Just Walk on By,” Alexa Clark, Flickr, CC BY-NC

Episode 39 – The Crypto Wars

by Aliyah Weaver

MYK78 Clipper ChipThis episode of One-Time Pod focuses on the 1990s “crypto wars,” a power struggle between the government and the American public. How much privacy does the general American public deserve in terms of encryption, and what are the limits of the government’s surveillance of the American public?


Bankston, K., Kehl, D., Wilson, A. (2015). Doomed to Repeat history? Lessons from the Crypto Wars of the 1990s. New America. Accessed March 30, 2021.

Freeh, L. J. (1998). Statement for the Record of Louis J. Freeh, Director Federal Bureau of Investigation Before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence [Speech transcript]. The Avalon Project by Yale Law School. Accessed March 30, 2021.

Lewis, J. A. (2021). The Crypto Wars Are Over. Center for Strategic and International Studies. Accessed March 30, 2021.

Peterson, A. (2019). Today’s Internet users are still being hurt By ’90s-era U.S. encryption policies. The Washington Post. Accessed March 30, 2021.

Sound effects: Apple iMovie stock sound effects

Image: MYK78 Clipper Chip,” Travis Goodspeed, Flickr CC BY

Page 1 of 110

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén