Digital Fortress was an excitingly smart thrill that kept and held my attention with ease. Not an especially techno-savvy person myself I was worried that I might not understand much of what was going on but I easily kept up while being amazed at Brown’s wealth of knowledge intellectual prowess. Susan Fletcher was headed for a much needed relaxing weekend in the Smokies with her fiancé David Becker when her boss, the head of the NSA cryptography department called her in on an emergency. Since that word had never before left his lips and since her fiancé was mysteriously absent Susan headed into work. What she found there surprised her more than the call itself. NSA is the proud yet secretive owner of the TRANSLTR, an ultra high tech computer that is able to break any code in the world in under three hours. When Susan arrived TRANSLTR had been running for 15 hours straight with no end in sight. The code it was running was a theoretically unbreakable encryption called Digital Fortress designed to keep people safe from the power of the TRANSLTR. The only way to read what has been encrypted is to have the pass key which the creator put up for the highest bidder. David Becker, a college linguistics professor was asked by the NSA to discretely find the pass key and give NSA the most powerful encryption software anyone has ever seen. Unfortunately everything went wrong. Overall it was a great book and not as predictable as some of Brown’s other fiction.
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