[ISN] NSA Declassifies Algorithms

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Thu Jun 25 1998 - 14:04:33 PDT

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    Forwarded From: "Jay D. Dyson" <jdysonat_private>
    Originally From: John Young <jyaat_private>
    Thanks to Ed Roback, NIST:
    DoD Press Release, June 23, 1998:
     No. 316-78
    June 23, 1998
    The Department of Defense today announced the decision by the National
    Security Agency to declassify both the Key Exchange Algorithm and the
    SKIPJACK encryption algorithm used in the FORTEZZA(tm) personal computer
    card. FORTEZZA(tm) provides security at the desktop in the Defense Message
    System and other DoD applications. This marks the first time that the NSA
    has declassified such information and made it commercially available. 
    This declassification is an essential part of the Department of Defense's
    efforts to work with commercial industry in developing reasonably priced
    computer protection products. This declassification decision will enable
    industry to develop software and smartcard based security products, which
    are interoperable with FORTEZZA(tm). The availability of such products
    will enhance the protection of DoD's sensitive but unclassified and
    critical non-mission communications. 
    The decision to release SKIPJACK (an 80 bit encryption algorithm that is
    not extensible to higher key lengths) and KEA (a 1024 bit key exchange
    algorithm) is restricted to these particular algorithms, and does not
    apply to other classified NSA algorithms. The SKIPJACK and KEA algorithms
    and their source codes have been declassified pursuant to Executive Order
    Vendors interested in obtaining more information on this matter should
    contact the National Security Agency Public Affairs Office at
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