Renowned Cryptographer and Inventor of E-mail Encryption Software Visits RIT April 18

Philip Zimmermann creator of Pretty Good Privacy

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Philip Zimmermann, the renowned cryptographer at the center of a criminal federal investigation in the 90s for his invention of Pretty Good Privacy, an e-mail encryption software made available to the public, will speak at Rochester Institute of Technology.

The lecture is at 2 p.m. on Friday, April 18, in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science Auditorium on the RIT campus. It’s free and open to the public.

Pretty Good Privacy became the most widely used e-mail encryption software in the world. The federal government alleged the cryptographic software violated arms trafficking export regulations, but eventually the case against Zimmermann was dropped.

Zimmermann went on to launch PGP Inc. in 1996, which is currently owned by PGP Corp. Zimmermann serves as a cryptographic consultant for PGP Corp. and numerous other companies and organizations. His latest project is called Zfone, a type of encryption software that allows people to make secure phone calls over the Internet.

Zimmermann’s work on PGP has led to numerous awards including being named by InfoWorld as one of the Top 10 Innovators in E-business. In 1995, Newsweek selected Zimmermann as one of the 50 most influential people on the Internet. His invention has garnered pop culture attention, with mentions in the best selling novel The Da Vinci Code and NBC’s Saturday Night Live.

Zimmermann’s lecture is sponsored by the Golisano College and RIT’s Information and Technology Services.