1994-06-27 - Is the NSA really competent?

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From: catalyst-remailer@netcom.com
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 5798c7924aedb215b17d143bb35fe49a23d48cc21f12cfbb48144e3832f85fdc
Message ID: <199406270651.XAA08926@mail2.netcom.com>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1994-06-27 06:51:24 UTC
Raw Date: Sun, 26 Jun 94 23:51:24 PDT

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From: catalyst-remailer@netcom.com
Date: Sun, 26 Jun 94 23:51:24 PDT
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Is the NSA really competent?
Message-ID: <199406270651.XAA08926@mail2.netcom.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Here are the biggest breakthroughs in cryptography during the period
when the NSA has been the purported leader in the field, and 
has enjoyed by far the largest budget:

public key: Diffie, Hellman, Merkle, R.,S., A., etc.
key escrow: Micali  (and the current NSA/NIST scheme has all 
	the earmarks of being thrown on top of Skipjack at
	the last moment, after Micali had published, and
	perhaps even after Denning had discussed it).
Skipjack: probably just a modified DES
IDEA: Swiss

Also zero-knowledge proofs, blind signatures, oblivious
transfer, BBS, and other recent advances were all discovered 
outside the NSA.

For all their vaunted competence, for all the mathematicians
they have been alleged to employ, despite having a cryptography
budget orders of magnitude larger than any other Western
crypto group, it looks like the NSA contribued to _none_ of 
the major advances in cryptography that occured during its zenith.