Digital Fortress

Thursday, April 22, 2010 |

Digital Fortress is a techno-thriller novel written by American author Dan Brown and published in 1998 by St. Martin's Press. The book explores the theme of government surveillance of electronically stored information on the private lives of citizens, and the possible civil liberties and ethical implications using such technology.

When the United States National Security Agency's code-breaking machine (TRANSLTR) encounters a mysterious and ingeniously complex code called Digital Fortress that it cannot break, Commander Trevor Strathmore calls in Susan Fletcher, a brilliant, beautiful mathematician and their head cryptographer, to crack it. She discovers that it was written by Ensei Tankado, a former NSA employee who became displeased with the NSA's intrusion into people's private lives. Tankado intends to auction the code's algorithm on his website and have his partner, "NDAKOTA", release it for free if he dies. Essentially holding the NSA hostage, the agency is determined to stop Digital Fortress from becoming a threat to national security.


When Tankado indeed dies in Seville, Spain, of what appears to be a heart attack, Strathmore sends David Becker (Susan's fiancee) to Seville to recover the ring Tankado was wearing when he died. The ring is rumored to have the code that unlocks Digital Fortress. However, he soon discovers that Tankado gave the ring away immediately before his death. Each person that Becker questions in the search for the ring is murdered one-by-one by Hulohot, a mysterious assassin.. Read more in [My Corner]