Cryptographic Media

  • Quinn DuPont
Living reference work entry


Cryptographic technologies have become an essential and even ubiquitous component of online infrastructure, yet they are rarely acknowledged outside of technical literatures. This chapter contributes questions about the impact of these technologies on daily life, and suggests five threads for future analysis: encryption, obfuscation and hiding, code, language, and epistemology. While each has a technical side, in this chapter they are presented at the intersections with society, politics, and culture. In many cases, revitalizing these intersections requires looking for historical examples, when for instance, prior to the twentieth century, the technologies and our understanding of them were more fluid and integrated with cultural and scientific pursuits. The common dimension running through this history and its revitalization is a conception of cryptography and its cognate technologies as “media”.


Cryptography Code Encryption Media theory Internet infrastructure Digital culture 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Information SchoolUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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