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NIST chief defends agency's record on encryption standards

Sep. 10, 2013 - 04:32PM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments

The head of the National Institute of Standards and Technology denied reports that his agency colluded with the National Security Agency to weaken Internet encryption standards, calling it an “attack on my integrity.”

“We are not deliberately, knowingly working to undermine or weaken encryption standards,” Patrick Gallagher said at the Amazon Web Services Public Summit Tuesday.

Documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and published Sept. 5 by the New York Times and The Guardian and widely covered by media outlets report that the NSA worked to undermine Internet encryption standards, an area that NIST oversees.

He said the agency is reopening some of its encryption publications to public comment and is working hard to make sure its encryption methodologies are consistently updated.

“NIST’s role is to support technical understanding of the strongest, most secure computer security and encryption that we can,” Gallagher said.

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