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Nuts and Bolts: An Introduction to Encryption

June 13 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Nuts and Bolts: An Introduction to Encryption

Encryption is at the heart of many of the technologies we rely on every day, and in the wake of recent high-profile data breaches and terrorist attacks, it is increasingly a part of the policy conversation in Washington. But, as with many complex technologies, the policy debate surrounding encryption is clouded by misinformation about how encryption actually works and how it’s used in everyday practice. In order to craft sensible policy, it is critical to understand the uses, limitations, and inner workings of encryption technology.

Please join Ed Felten and Mark Althouse for a robust, off-the-record conversation on the fundamentals of encryption. We’ll explore how the technology functions, discuss its practical applications, and consider the role of policy in the future of technology. Lunch from Chick-fil-A will be provided; please note dietary restrictions on the registration form.

Co-sponsored by Engine, TechFreedom, and the Charles Koch Institute, the nonpartisan “Nuts and Bolts” event series focuses on educating policymakers on the technical functioning of encryption technologies and practical applications. For additional information and details on upcoming programs, please visit



Edward W. Felten, Professor of Computer Science and Public Affairs, Princeton University
Felten is the Robert E. Kahn Professor of Computer Science and Public Affairs, and the founding director of Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy. From 2015 to 2017, he served in the White House as deputy U.S. chief technology officer. From 2011 to 2012, he served as the first chief technologist at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. His research interests include computer security and privacy, as well as technology law and policy.

Dr. Mark Althouse, Senior Technology Analyst, Kingfisher Systems
Althouse is a Senior Technology Analyst with Kingfisher Systems where he analyzes foreign communications and surveillance technology. He is also an advisor to SecureSet, a cybersecurity accelerator in Denver. Dr. Althouse retired from NSA in 2015 as the Technical Director for Engineering, Trusted Solutions Engineering, in the Information Assurance Directorate.


June 13
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm


Charles Koch Institute


Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2247
45 Independence Ave SW
Washington, DC 20515 United States
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