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Support Awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal to Dr. Alan M.Turing

Petition published by David Fierstine on Feb 06, 2010
12 Signatures 
Target: The Office of The President of The United States of America, The White House and U.S. Congress

Petition Background (Preamble):

Dr. Alan M. Turing, OBE, FRS; mathematician, logician, cryptologist, scientist and patriot is the father of modern computing. You are viewing and typing at your computer now because of Dr. Turing and his "Turing Machines."

He received his Doctorate from America's Princeton University. Immediately following the outbreak of war between the United Kingdom and the German Third Reich he returned to England and started working full time at Bletchley Park, United Kingdom's Government Codes and Ciphers School (GCCS).

He is the man that broke the Germany's Nazi Third Reich "Enigma" encryption systems for the United Kingdom and its Allies. Within weeks of arriving at Bletchley Park, Turing had specified an electro-mechanical machine which could help break Enigma faster than the Bomba from 1932. The Bombe, was named after and building upon the original Polish-designed bomba. It became one of the primary tools, and the major automated one, used to decipher Germany's Enigma-protected message traffic.

Professor Jack Good, cryptanalyst working at the time with Turing at Bletchley Park, later said:

"Turing's most important contribution, I think, was of part of the design of the bombe, the cryptanalytic machine. He had the idea that you could use, in effect, a theorem in logic which sounds to the untrained ear rather absurd; namely that from a contradiction, you can deduce everything."

The Bombe searched for possibly correct settings used for an Enigma message (i.e., rotor order, rotor settings, etc.), and used a suitable "crib": a fragment of probable plaintext. For each possible setting of the Enigma rotors, the Bombe performed a chain of logical deductions based on the crib. The Bombe detected when a contradiction had occurred and ruled out that setting, moving onto the next. Most of the possible settings would cause contradictions and be discarded, leaving only a few to be investigated in detail. Turing's Bombe was first installed on 18 March 1940. More than two hundred bombes were in operation by the end of the war.

Additionally, Turing travelled to the United States in November 1942 and worked with The U.S. Navy cryptanalysts on the four rotor Naval Enigma and U.S. Bombe construction in Washington and Dayton, Ohio.

He also assisted at Bell Labs with the development of one of the first secure voice encryption devices codename "Delilah."

His work directly contributed to the shortening of World War II against Nazi Germany (as much as two years) and saved thousands if not hundreds of thousands of lives on both sides.

Because he was openly gay and prosecuted and convicted by the government of the United Kingdom for having consensual sex with another man I believe he was never given proper recognition or his historical due by the government of The United States of America.

Consequently, because of his conviction and The United Kingdom's "treatment" (weekly estrogen hormone shots for one year, causing breast development and severe depression) in 1954 Alan Turing commited suicide by eating a cyanide laced apple. The UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, on 10 September 2009 publically apologized for the UK Government's mistreatment of Turing.

Petition:

We, the undersigned, call on The President of The United States and the United States Congress to recognize Dr. Alan M. Turing's contributions to the National Security of The United States of America during World War II by (posthumously) awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.

The Support Awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal to Dr. Alan M.Turing petition to The Office of The President of The United States of America, The White House and U.S. Congress was written by David Fierstine and is in the category Government at GoPetition. Contact author here. Petition tags: , , ,

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