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The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) lacks independence and uncritically adhered to the wishes of US electronic eavesdroppers in releasing a weakened random-number generator in 2006. So says a group of mathematicians and computer scientists in a new report commissioned by the lab following the leaking of documents last year by the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden. According to those documents, the NSA designed an encryption algorithm to include a “back door” so that it could copy encryption keys from internet users without their knowledge. The algorithm was approved by NIST, which itself develops cryptography technology and advises US companies and government agencies on electronic security issues. (1)

Some people guard us from harm.

But who will guard us from the guards?