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We are planning to organize a workshop with the participation of academicians, engineers and graduate students working in the field of cryptology. On the first day, we are planning a fun competition for the participants as an ice-breaking event. Our goal is to organize a quiz on fun, little-known facts about cryptology via the online app. Interesting general culture questions will be more acceptable instead of classical ciphers applications.

Is there any question you can suggest in this context? Or is there a resource you can recommend for preparing questions? For example, I am looking for the sources in this concept.

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  • $\begingroup$ Just who are the participants/demographic? $\endgroup$
    – Paul Uszak
    Apr 28, 2023 at 9:29

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I hope this story fits: The USA classified cryptography as weapon technology. Thus, it was not allowed to export cryptography knowledge/technology. In general, this was a huge problem, especially when the internet arose. A lot of very interesting people fought to end this classification, e.g. Phil Zimmermann the creator of PGP.

But my favourite part of the story was written by Daniel J. Bernstein. It is said (source requested), that in 1997, Bernstein was stopped at San Francisco airport while trying to travel out of the US wearing a T-shirt with (his?) cryptographic results printed on it.

This resulted in Bernstein filling a lawsuit against the US government, arguing that the export ban violated the US Constitution, specifically the right to free speech. The case went all the way up to the US Supreme Court and was eventually decided in Bernstein's favour.

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    $\begingroup$ Do you have a source for the stop as SF airport? This seems too good to be more than a mind experiment (perhaps originating from the 1997 Conference on Computers, Freedom & Privacy being held at the San Francisco Airport). At least, the trial started in February 1995, before the alleged incident. Here is Bernstein's page on the subject, and I did not find such account. He has a separate page about some airlines. $\endgroup$
    – fgrieu
    Apr 28, 2023 at 8:05
  • $\begingroup$ Now that you mention it, I never looked up a source for this "internet myth". Maybe the part about the airport is an exaggeration of what really happened. Nevertheless, the court process is interesting and important. $\endgroup$
    – Titanlord
    Apr 28, 2023 at 8:24

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