Have the NSA's Actions Made America Less Secure?

September 24, 2013

WASHINGTON (September 26, 2013) - New leaks allege that the National Security Agency (NSA) has secretly and deliberately introduced weaknesses and back doors into commercial products and security standards to enhance the federal government's surveillance operations. If true, these revelations may have substantive and long-lasting consequences on the reputations of U.S. technology companies, while also significantly weakening the effectiveness of federal government efforts to improve cyber security in commercial products, both domestically and internationally.

To better assess the impact of these revelations on cyber security and the economy, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) will host the panel discussion "Has the NSA Won the Crypto Wars?" from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM on Tuesday, October 1 at ITIF, 1101 K Street NW, Suite 610A. The event will explore how these most recent claims relate to past cryptography controversies, such as the Clipper Chip debate of the 1990s, and the impact that these allegations might have on the technology industry, consumers and the nation as a whole.

"The allegations that the NSA has covertly weakened the design of cryptographic standards and introduced vulnerabilities into commercial products are a disturbing claim which will have severe implications for our nation," notes Daniel Castro, Senior Analyst with ITIF and organizer of the event. "The policy of the U.S. government should be to strengthen, not weaken, online security, and the most recent NSA revelations are yet another sign that stronger oversight and transparency of U.S. surveillance operations are a necessity."

The panel discussion will be moderated by Castro and participants include Kevin Bankston, Director of the Free Expression Project at the Center for Democracy & Technology, Alan Davidson, a Fellow at the Sloan School's Center for Digital Business at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Amie Stepanovich, Director of the Domestic Surveillance Project at the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

Lunch will be provided and the event is free and open to the public. For more information or to register, go to: http://www.itif.org/events/has-nsa-won-crypto-wars

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The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is a non-profit, non-partisan think tank whose mission is to formulate and promote public policies to advance technological innovation and productivity internationally, in Washington, and in the states. Recognizing the vital role of technology in ensuring prosperity, ITIF focuses on innovation, productivity, and digital economy issues. Learn more at www.itif.org.