We must distinguish between cryptography (Greek kryptos hidden) and steganography (Greek steganos, covered). The term cryptographia, to mean secrecy in writing, was used in 1641 by John Wilkins, a founder with John Wallis of the Royal Society; the word ‘cryptography’ was coined in 1658 by Thomas Browne, famous English physician and writer. It is the aim of cryptography to render a message incomprehensible to an unauthorized reader: ars occulte scribendi. One speaks of overt secret writing: overt in the sense of being obviously recognizable as secret writing.
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