ERIC Number: ED202438
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Feb-7
Report of the Public Cryptography Study Group.
American Council on Education, Washington, DC.
Concerns of the National Security Agency (NSA) that information contained in some articles about cryptography in learned and professional journals and in monographs might be inimical to the national security are addressed. The Public Cryptography Study Group, with one dissenting opinion, recommends that a voluntary system of prior review of cryptology manuscripts be instituted on an experimental basis. Cryptography is the body of knowledge that deals with methods of information protection. NSA is concerned that research and dissemination in this field could lead to the publication of cryptographic principles or applications similar to those used by the United States Government. NSA claims that this work may enable foreign powers to engage more successfully in cryptanalytic attacks upon the secure telecommunications of our government and that papers dealing with weaknesses in cryptosystems may be used by other governments and prompt them to adopt more sophisticated and less vulnerable systems. Although the study group views any system of prior review involving governmental agencies as a possible disincentive to academics and others to undertake research, guidelines are suggested for a proposed voluntary system. The dissenting study group opinion to the voluntary system is also presented. In "The Case Against Restraints on Non-Governmental Research in Cryptography," George I. Davida argues that the national security interests of the country are broader than the narrow mission of the NSA, which is data-gathering; that restraints would adversely affect that quality and direction of basic research in computer science, engineering, and mathematics; that restraints would be unconstitutional and would lead to legal entanglements and international complications, and that restraints would be ineffective in achieving the NSA's objectives. (SW)
Descriptors: Academic Freedom, Advisory Committees, Censorship, Civil Liberties, Confidentiality, Constitutional Law, Cryptography, Federal Government, Foreign Countries, Government Role, Higher Education, Information Dissemination, Information Networks, Information Utilization, International Relations, Legal Problems, Position Papers, Publications, Research Reports, Research Utilization, Technological Advancement, Telecommunications
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: American Council on Education, Washington, DC.