Thesis ID: CBB882929007

Trading on Trust: Cryptographic Authentication and Digital Decentralization in the United States, 1968–2000 (2021)


Vidan, Gili (Author)
Jasanoff, Sheila (Advisor)

Harvard University
Jasanoff, Sheila
Publication date: 2021
Language: English

Publication Date: 2021
Physical Details: 192

This dissertation describes the political and technical history of digital cryptographic authentication technologies in the United States in the latter decades of the twentieth century. It traces how developers of electronic authentication technologies contended with the problem of trust in economic transactions. Through a series of historical case studies, the dissertation shows how the field of public cryptography and the political project of decentralization were embedded in broader societal expectations of trust. The dissertation chronicles public debates over the development of Electronic Fund Transfers and the Data Encryption Standard in the 1970s and the Escrowed Encryption Standard and the use of digital certificates in the transactional Internet in the 1990s. The research draws on archival materials from computer scientists, policymakers, consumer and civil rights advocates, technical standards-setting bodies, and industry leaders. This work locates trust within the history of digital technologies as a shifting historical category that was remade through political and technological contestation.

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Authors & Contributors
Abbate, Janet
Berners-Lee, Tim
Blanco, Jairo Ares
Braman, Sandra
Clarke, David D.
IEEE Annals of the History of Computing
Actes d’Història de la Ciència i de la Tècnica
Ethics, Place and Environment
New Media & Society
Österreichische Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaften
MIT Press
Princeton University
Stanford University
Belknap Press of Harvard University Press
Reaktion Books
Computers and computing
Computer networks
Technology and society
Computer science
Brand, Stewart
Time Periods
20th century, late
21st century
20th century
United States
Perth (Western Australia)
National Science Foundation (U.S.)
United States Navy
University of Western Australia

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