NIST Releases Cryptographic Standards and Guideline Document

March 31, 2016

The report acknowledges the tension between the need for strong encryption, law enforcement and national security.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released the final version of a document outlining its process for developing cryptographic standards and guidelines. NIST Cryptographic Standards and Guidelines Development Process (NISTIR 7977) is part of NIST’s “effort to ensure a robust, widely understood and participatory process for developing cryptography,” the institute said in a written announcement.  

The document describes NIST’s primary cryptographic stakeholders as the federal agencies and their suppliers but also states that NIST “considers its stakeholder community for cryptographic standards, guidelines, tools and metrics to be much broader.” 

According to the written announcement, NIST acknowledges the “possibility for tension between NIST’s mission to promulgate the use of strong cryptography, and the law enforcement and national security missions of other agencies,” and affirms that it makes independent decisions and is committed to using open and transparent processes. 

NISTIR 7977 also emphasizes the importance of NIST having “access to the most recent and relevant expertise regarding cryptography,” as well as its commitment to ensuring that its internal capabilities are strong and effective and that it collaborates with the broader cryptographic research community. 




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