Cipher-Decipher: Kingston exhibit showcases the past, present and future of cryptology

An original Enigma
An original Enigma is part of the Cipher-Decipher Exhibition. Photo: ADM (IM)

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A new bilingual exhibit is on display at the Military Communications and Electronics Museum in Kingston, Ontario until March 2019.

The exhibit, Cipher-Decipher was created by the Canada Science and Technology Museum in partnership with Canada’s national cryptologic agency, the Communications Security Establishment (CSE). It gives visitors the chance to crack the code of encryption and cyber security.

Molly McCullough, an assistant curator, says the exhibit’s main goal is to take the complicated and inaccessible subject of encryption and transform it into something fun and interesting for Canadians.

The exhibit not only allows visitors to immerse themselves in the past and present of cryptology, but also lets visitors participate in interactive displays. Produced with the help of the CSE, Cipher-Decipher allows you to explore displays from the Second World War, the Cold War, as well as more modern uses of encryption like Wi-Fi and email. As part of the exhibit, you can test to find out how safe your personal information is online!

The exhibit features devices such as an authentic Enigma cipher machine borrowed directly from the CSE. The exhibit not only boasts the machine itself, but it is also partnered with a computer version that slows down the process so that you can input your own messages and watch as they get encrypted!

Mark your calendar to see the Cipher-Decipher exhibit at the Military Communications and Electronics Museum in Kingston, ON until March 31, 2019.

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