The Ottumwa Courier

September 12, 2013

NSA has long role as top US locksmith, lock-picker

JACK GILLUM RAPHAEL SATTER
Associated Press

---- — WASHINGTON (AP) — More than two decades ago, civilian government scientists were expressing concerns with the National Security Agency's role in developing global communications standards.

Declassified documents reviewed by The Associated Press show that tensions involving secrecy and national security emerged in the 1990s when the government's standards agency worked with the NSA to create code for digitally signing documents. That proposed standard was initially criticized by industry experts for being flawed.

The review comes after recent revelations that showed the NSA deliberately weakened Internet encryption in recent years as part of its effort to gather and analyze digital intelligence. The National Institute of Standards and Technology says it is reassuring the public of the safety of its data under government-approved encryption standards.