Posted by: jonkatz | June 24, 2009

Does the world need a crypto blog?

Thanks to Bill and Lance for announcing my blog.

So does the world need a crypto blog? First, I should say that it doesn’t really matter to me. I have wanted to try blogging for a while, and as I keep insisting (at least until I start losing readers!) I plan to blog about things other than crypto — including security, TCS, academia in general, as well as the catch-all topic “random”.

But there is also something more fundamental that motivated me to finally start this blog. Given all the theory blogs out there, many of very high quality, it was somewhat surprising (and dismaying) to me that there were no crypto blogs. As I was quoted on Bill’s blog (paraphrasing Lance):

The blog will cover random topics, but especially crypto…I hope this will become…a meeting place for the crypto community where we would have some discussions…over issues of concern to our community

We’ll see.

By the way, it’s not entirely true that there are no crypto blogs. Adam Smith beat me to it, and had he posted more often I probably would not have rushed to start this blog. (Adam, take this as encouragement to post more often!) Other cryptographers with a blog include Helger Lipmaa and Manoj Prabhakaran, but Helger’s blog is defunct and Manoj, as far as I could tell, does not post about crypto. Given the extensive lecture notes on cryptography he posted last semester, Luca Trevisan also deserves mention; to the best of my knowledge, though, Luca would not call himself a cryptographer.



  1. Glad to have you blogging. Thanks for the pointers to the other blogs — I hadn’t realized Adam Smith had a blog, enjoyed checking it out. Curious to see what happens here!

  2. Over the years I’ve collected a list of blogs by cryptographers (and family) at – but it’s true that many of them are now defunct or talk more about important things like personal life or politics (which is fun!). My own blog is now defunct too – I prefer to share personal things on Facebook.

    As Arvind mentioned lately on his blog, cryptographers tend to shy away from publicly writing about anything before it has been peer-reviewed.

  3. Nice to see a new crypto-blog. We shall surely look forward to stimulating discussions in here. In addition to cryptographers tending to “shy away from publicly writing about anything before it
    has been peer-reviewed” as Helger pointed out, there are some direct constraints on writing in public forum for those who work in security with government agencies. Not that they lack fun or
    interesting material to write about, but sometimes it is just too difficult to distinguish between what is classified and what is not;);)

  4. Hi I thank you for a wonderful site. You have done very good job.

  5. Yes, it definitely needs one. At least for self-study people like me who absolutely needs someone like you to answer their (n00b) questions.

    I bought your book, and emailed you the other day asking for help but i figured it out eventually. Now you have a blog, I assume it’s the right place to ask questions (because email is just too personal, and too…1990s)? 😀


  6. Hi Jon, thanks to the pointer to my blog, but that (as you noticed) is not a crypto blog. My (largely inactive, so far) crypto blog is Cryptosophy. Hopefully there will be a little more activity there, this Fall.

    Btw, could you tell me how to get a free desk copy of your textbook? 🙂 It is one of the references for my course this Fall.

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