Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Center for International Security and Cooperation Stanford University


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Whitfield Diffie   Download vCard
Consulting Professor

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Whitfield Diffie is a consulting professor at CISAC. He was a visiting scholar in 2009-2010 and an affiliate from 2010-2012. He is best known for the discovery of the concept of public key cryptography, in 1975, which he developed along with Stanford University Electrical Engineering Professor Martin Hellman. Public key cryptography, which revolutionized not only cryptography but also the cryptographic community, now underlies the security of internet commerce.

During the 1980s, Diffie served as manager of secure systems research at Northern Telecom. In 1991, he joined Sun Microsystems as distinguished engineer and remained as Sun fellow and chief security officer until the spring of 2009.

Diffie spent the 1990s working to protect the individual and business right to use encryption, for which he argues in the book Privacy on the Line, the Politics of Wiretapping and Encryption, which he wrote jointly with Susan Landau. Diffie is a Marconi fellow and the recipient of a number of awards including the National Computer Systems Security Award (given jointly by NIST and NSA) and the Franklin Institute's Levy Prize.


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News around the web

Computer History Museum honors Sun co-founder, cryptography pioneers
Whitfield Diffie studied mathematics at MIT and began working for defense contractor MITRE, writing LISP software for the Mathlab symbolic manipulation program before joining Stanford to work on proof-of-correctness theorems for computer programs.
March 16, 2011 in Bizjournals.com

The Computer History Museum Announces Its 2011 Fellow Award Honorees
Whitfield Diffie studied mathematics at MIT and began working for defense contractor MITRE, writing LISP software for the Mathlab symbolic manipulation program and joined Stanford to work on proof of correctness theorems for computer programs.
March 16, 2011 in Marketwire (press release)

Encryption leads Stanford's Martin Hellman into National Inventors Hall of Fame
This week, the National Inventors Hall of Fame announced it will induct the trio of researchers who created it – Whitfield Diffie, Martin Hellman and Ralph Merkle. The invention, known as "public-key cryptography," allows any two computers to agree on ...
March 4, 2011 in Stanford University News

Whitfield Diffie Joins the ICANN Team
Cryptography expert joins the organization as Vice President for information security and cryptography.
May 17, 2010 in WebHosting.Info