The History and Mathematics of Codes and Code Breaking

Author: striclr1

Should A Student’s Data be Monitored?

In his essay, “Mining Student Data Could Save Lives”, Michael Morris argues that universities should implement data mining technology to prevent crime and make universities safer. Data mining technology would help a university predict crime.

In his essay, Morris uses pathos to gain the attention of his readers. School shootings are events that are emotional for the victims and the people that here about them. He talks about school shootings since it is something that the entire nation is familiar with and horrified of. He uses the school shooting example since a school shooting is an event that could be stopped by monitoring behavioral patterns. A student’s behavioral pattern can be shown through what they do online. Universities can monitor a student’s activity through school computers, conversation through the school’s emails, and the activity that is on the WiFi network. Michael Morris states that universities are not able to access a student’s data until after a catastrophic event has already occurred.

I agree with the author’s argument that universities should use data mining algorithms to monitor potential threats. I think that data mining is not as serious as everyone thinks it is. Whenever a person searches something online browser cookies are used to suggest future online searches. I believe that we also lose privacy when we use social media. I think that it is fine if our privacy is lost to prevent horrifying events such as school shootings.


Never Trust A Weak Encryption

In the first chapter of The Code Book by Simon Singh, he states that “a weak encryption is worse than no encryption at all”. A weak encryption is worse than no encryption at all because the sender and receiver of the message believe that the message is secure. A weak encryption leads to a false sense of security. If someone was to send a message with no encryption, they would know that their message was floating around and would be more cautious. People that send encrypted messages should always be mindful of what information their message contains. Over time many messages can be decrypted, and a sender of an encrypted message should remain mindful of that. No one should put all of their trust into a encryption since the message could possibly be deciphered. People that want to keep their messages secret should keep their messages very vague even if they are encrypted. There is always a chance that a message can be decrypted, so the sender should not only rely on a encryption to make sure that their message is secure. Mary Queen of Scots should have been vaguer with the messages that she sent. Since she truly believed that her messages would not be decrypted, she was not withholding the information that she sent. Her trust in the encryption led to her execution.


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