Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Cloak and Dagger

Bruce Schneier talks about the Ahmed Chalabi spying brouhaha in the larger context of national security in his latest Crypto-Gram newsletter. Interesting reading, and highly recommended, even to the less than mathematically inclined. The link to the story about allegations made about Crypto AG's Hans Buehler is also highly recommended, and ought to serve as an object lesson to governments on the importance of cultivating home-grown mathematical talent.

One little known fact which isn't mentioned in the article is that Ahmed Chalabi is actually a mathematician, and an algebraist at that, with a PhD from the University of Chicago - his thesis was titled "On the Jacobson Radical of a Group Algebra" (he is also an MIT graduate who enrolled at the age of 16). This is one extremely individual, and it isn't out of bounds that he really did manage to pull a big one over the U.S. government.