[Response to question #1] When Singh says that “a weak encryption can be worse than no encryption at all,” it makes me want to equate it to a devastating mistake of leaving an unmistakable trace because with that, all of the evidence of enciphering a message to plot to kill Queen Elizabeth falls completely onto Queen Mary of Scots because of the cipher that was used on both sides. Whereas if there was no encryption, there could be more room (just a little) for the argument that the letters between Mary and Babington could just be in the wrong place at the wrong time (though it looks very unlikely to win over in this Mary-Elizabeth case). For example, if Mary and Babington were not too ignorant or overconfident with the security of their enciphered messages, they could agree on the word “She” with a capital S in place of saying the “Queen” (or any word/phrase that makes the plot to assassinate Elizabeth obvious) because then, the plot to kill can be against anyone. However, when both Mary and Babington use the exact same cipher and have the exact same content of their intentions, it becomes very difficult to convince people of her innocence. My interpretation of having no encryption as opposed to a weak encryption is that with an encryption, albeit furtive, can do more damage than good when it falls into the wrong hands especially with high stakes because it implies that there is information that is so valuable that it has to be hidden from others’ eyes. This heightens the curiosity and thus makes people, whether for good intention or bad, feel the need to pry into the message and know its meaning. Also in Mary’s case, it presented itself as undeniable evidence that she was taking part in the Babington conspiracy and ultimately her cause of death.