Programmers Whitfield Diffie and Martin E. Hellman, who developed the first form of cryptography for the Internet era, have been awarded this year’s Turing Award. Named after famed British mathematician Alan Turing, the award is a $1 million cash prize sponsored by Google that’s given to scientists and engineers who advance the field of computing.
Diffie and Hellman are being honored for developing the first instance of public-key cryptography back in the 1970s. Called the Diffie–Hellman key exchange, the protocol established a way to send encrypted messages over public channels.
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This article originally appeared on Recode.net.