RSA (Rivest–Shamir–Adleman) is a public-key cryptosystem that is widely used for secure data transmission. It is also one of the oldest. The acronym RSA comes from the surnames of Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Leonard Adleman, who publicly described the algorithm in 1977. An equivalent system was developed secretly, in 1973 at GCHQ, by the English mathematician Clifford Cocks. That system was declassified in 1997.