NSA “Declassified” Publicly Available Text on CryptologyBreaking News
Last month the National Security Agency announced the declassification of various historic records as evidence of its “commitment to meeting the requirements” of President Obama’s policy on openness and transparency. Among the newly declassified records was a 200 year old publication on cryptology. (“NSA Declassifies 200 Year Old Report,” Secrecy News, June 9, 2011.)
NSA listed the 1809 study as a “highlight” of the new releases in a press statement, and the National Archives featured it in a promotional blog posting. But upon inspection, it turns out that the newly released document was already in the public domain and freely available online.
Instead of providing cause for celebration or congratulation, the NSA “release” is a disturbing sign of futility and irrelevance in the nation’s declassification program.
The June 8 NSA press statement hailed the disclosure of “early publications on cryptography, including ‘Cryptology: Instruction Book on the Art of Secret Writing’ from 1809. In fact, the document is a German work and its real title is “Kryptographik: Lehrbuch der Geheimschreibekunst…” by Johann Ludwig Klüber (1762-1837), who was the first Professor of Law at the University of Heidelberg.
According to a June 14 blog post by James Rush of the National Archives, this work was among the German government records that were seized by U.S. forces after the defeat of Germany in World War II, and it found its way into U.S. intelligence files.
Though the NSA press statement seemed to indicate that the full publication was being disclosed, the material that was released by NSA was actually just a 40 page abstract and excerpt of the author’s much longer work. A copy of what was transferred to the National Archives is now posted here (pdf)....
comments powered by Disqus
- VW fires corporate historian who drew attention to wartime ties to Nazis
- Trump Recording Narrows Divide on Sexual Assault
- SUNY professor says Trump win at least 87 percent certain; other polls 'bunk'
- Petition Started to Include Clarence Thomas in National African American Museum
- The Racial Politics of Nat Turner Tours
- Garry Wills says there’s one human test we can use to decide who’s the better candidate: Trump or Clinton
- Get to Know the Semifinalists for the National Book Award
- Steven Runciman — historian, tease and professional enigma — is the subject of a biography
- Historian Eric Foner: Trump is Logical Conclusion of What the GOP Has Been Doing for Decades
- Ken Burns developing 'The Gene' based on Mukherjee's bestseller