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Encryption is the process of converting information into a form that is intelligible only to someone who knows how to ‘decrypt’ it to obtain the original information. It is commonly used in connection with electronic data, whether stored on a computer or transmitted over an unsecured network such as the Internet.

This POSTbrief discusses what factors affect the reliability of encryption, and the challenges associated with ‘breaking’ encryption. It updates the technical background in POSTnote 270 on data encryption.

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