Mathematics > NSA + GCHQ

John Young jya at
Fri Aug 22 12:57:50 PDT 1997

Tim May wrote:

>Thus, as bright as Brian Snow or Don Coppersmith or John Conway may be, the
>"edge" the NSA may have once had is largely gone. Which is not to say that
>they are not still a formidable technical organization, with substantial
>computer resources.
>But modern crypto systems are, as we all know, based on fundamental
>mathematical results ...

Along this line:

A few days ago we received an 8-page excerpt from "Shift Register
Sequences," by Solomon W. Golomb (at USC), Holden-Day, Inc., 
no date, with a handwritten note:

   NSA has tried to suppress knowledge of this stuff. Nearly all NSA 'good'
   algorithms are based on this technology.

IANAM, so would any of the mathematicians here give any credibility to 
this claim? We'll scan and put the excerpt on our Web site if worthwhile.
It's composed of the book's 3 page preface and 5 pages of text and
diagrams of Chapter 2 on The Shift Register as a Finite State Machine,
with principal focus on de Bruijn diagrams for shift registers.

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