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NSA promises ‘no backdoors’ in new encryption — RT World News


Spy agency says future encryption standards will be too secure to bypass

The National Security Agency’s cybersecurity chief has claimed that next-generation encryption standards being developed in the United States will be tamper-proof, even by US government spies themselves.

“There is no back door” NSA cybersecurity director Rob Joyce told Bloomberg in an interview on Friday. The agency has been involved in the process of developing the new standards, designed to protect data from future quantum computers, but Joyce promised there would be no deliberate flaws injected into the algorithms.

The administration of President Joe Biden has called for the implementation of quantum-resistant cryptography protecting sensitive data across the U.S. economy by 2035. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will provide the new algorithms that underlie this cryptography.

NIST has held a public competition since 2016 to choose the best algorithms and is expected to announce the winners soon. In 2020, the institute narrowed entries to seven finalists from around the world.


NSA promises ‘no backdoors’ in new encryption — RT World News

After selecting the winners, NIST plans to turn them into new public encryption standards by 2024. Choosing the algorithms through an open competition aims to “build trust and confidence,” Joyce said.

The NSA did not submit any of its classified quantum resistance algorithms for the competition. However, Joyce said, mathematicians at the agency tried to crack the top entries in the NIST competition to test their strength. “These candidate algorithms that NIST is running the competitions on all seem strong, secure, and what we need for quantum resilience,” he said. “We’ve been working against each of them to make sure they’re strong.”

In 2014, an encryption algorithm developed by the NSA was dropped as a federal standard amid suspicions that the agency had planted a backdoor. Two Microsoft employees reportedly discovered a suspicious flaw in the algorithm.


NSA promises ‘no backdoors’ in new encryption — RT World News

Documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden in 2013 showed the agency was secretly monitoring the telecommunications records of millions of Americans. A federal appeals court found in 2020 that the NSA violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and that the surveillance may be unconstitutional.

Other documents in the Snowden leak showed some NSA techniques for breaching encryption, fueling suspicions that the agency was using a backdoor in the algorithm it created.

rt Gt

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