cfp '94 transcript
jim at bilbo.suite.com
Mon Mar 28 15:07:01 PST 1994
(Unknown) My name is Barbolin (?) from GRC (?).
I have a question concerning the algorithm that is used in the
Clipper Chip, Skipjack....There is a certain amount of conjecture
that in fact the algorithm contains a deliberately encoded weakness
that will allow the NSA, without access to the escrow keys, to be
able to intercept communication in their mission to monitor on-
shore and off-shore communications....
BAKER I'll answer it yes or no if you'll
tell me exactly the question.
UNKNOWN Does it or does it not contain a
weakness that allows you to intercept the communications without
access to the escrow keys.
ObNit: As has been said before by others, there's more to
Clipper/EES than just the Skipjack algorithm. I think simply asking
if "the [Skipjack] algorithm contains a deliberately encoded
weakness" leaves too much room for a "truthful" No answer.
People have posted descriptions of mechanisms that could be used to
leak key information which do not rely on a deliberately weakened
encryption algorithm. (depends on how broadly you define
A better question to ask would be...
Are there any software or hardware mechanisms, or combinations of
software and hardware mechanisms, present in the Clipper/EES system
that supports or enables decryption of intercepted Clipper/EES
communications without access to escrowed unit keys?
Does that cover it well enough?
Jim_Miller at suite.com
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