This article is published via the Passcode – Modern field guide to security and privacy from The Christian Science Monitor”: The cypherpunk revolution-How the tech vanguard turned public-key cryptography into one of the most potent political ideas of the 21st century, by Thomas Rid, July 20, 2016.
“…But amid the hype [in the 1990s with the fast growing impact of personal computers and the internet ]and a slowly but steadily growing economic bubble, it dawned on a number of users that something was missing: privacy and secure communications. History, thankfully, was gracious. Even more than that: nature itself was generous to humans in front of plastic keyboards. Unrelated to either PCs or the internet, cryptographers had made a third and no less far-reaching discovery in the 1970s. They didn’t just invent a technology; more like explorers than innovators, they discovered an algorithm based on a beautiful mathematical truth. That truly revolutionary technology was finally unleashed for widespread public use in June 1991: asymmetric encryption, also known as public-key cryptography…”