NSA “Declassified” Publicly Available Text on Cryptology

"Last month the National Security Agency announcedthe 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..."


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