“Declassified” Cryptology Report was Already Available on Google Books

Tuesday, August 02, 2011
Well, so much for that “impressive” bit of news.
Last month the National Security Agency (NSA) made a big to-do about declassifying a 200-year-old book on cryptology, to demonstrate that the Obama administration was committed to making government more open and transparent.
It turns out the item (Cryptology: Instruction Book on the Art of Secret Writing) was really just an excerpt and abstract of the original German book, Kryptographik: Lehrbuch der Geheimschreibekunst, by Johann Ludwig Klüber.
Kryptographik was already available to the public, via Google Books, meaning the material held by the NSA was never classified in the first place.
“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,” wrote Steven Aftergood for Secrecy News.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
 National Security Agency Declassifies Report on Secret Writing…From 1809 (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)
Kryptographik (Google Books)


Leave a comment