Congratulations to Whit Diffie, former Sun Fellow and Marty Hellman for this HUGE honor!
I had the great fortune to speak with and see Whit present on many occasions and it was always a true pleasure. Whit would always make everyone think when he spoke or wrote. What Whit and Marty came up with was absolute pure genius and is the basis of the most important aspects of computing and electronic commerce today.
As stated in the Merced Sun-Star
Whitfield Diffie, a former chief security officer of Sun Microsystems, and Martin Hellman, a professor emeritus of electrical engineering at Stanford University, introduced the ideas of public-key cryptography and digital signatures back in 1976. The concepts now secure all kinds of data, from online communications and financial transactions to Internet-connected infrastructure like power plants."
The article goes on to state:
"Their award, from the Association for Computing Machinery and mostly funded by Google Inc., is named for British mathematician Alan Turing, and is one of the most prestigious prizes in computing. Past recipients have included Douglas Englebart, who developed the mouse and other computing technologies, and Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn, who developed the key communications protocol behind the Internet."