I have a long-standing interest in issues of cryptography – particularly as it relates to privacy laws. I’ve become increasingly aware of the presence of surveillance cameras over the last three or four years, and have followed the development of face-recognition software closely. I recently got sent a copy of as a present off my wishlist, and I ploughed through it at a phenomenal rate. While it wasn’t as technically illuminating as either The Code Book or the extraordinary (and must-read) novel Cryptonomicon, it did cover the level of NSA interference in the development of cryptography very well. At the back of my mind, though, I’ve always been convinced that whatever they may say, the NSA must be close to developing either some level of quantum computing or some kind of system for factoring large numbers – both of which would signal the end of much of the security that encryption currently provides. But according to an article at the BBC, this is far from the case. In fact the NSA is asking for more and more money to find some way to fight the rapid spread of strong encryption around the world.