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NSA Publication Indices Declassified 76

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the waiting-game dept.
Schneier is reporting that a 3 year old freedom of information act request has finally come to fruition showing us indices from the NSA Technical Journal, Cryptographic Quarterly, Crytologic Spectrum, and Cryptologic Almanac. From the article: "The request took more than three years for them to process and declassify -- sadly, not atypical -- and during the process they asked if he would accept the indexes in lieu of the tables of contents pages: specifically, the cumulative indices that included all the previous material in the earlier indices. He agreed, and got them last month. Consider these bibliographic tools as stepping stones. If you want an article, send a FOIA request for it. Send a FOIA request for a dozen. There's a lot of stuff here that would help elucidate the early history of the agency and some interesting cryptographic topics."
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NSA Publication Indices Declassified

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  • by dshaw858 (828072) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @09:39PM (#16209359) Homepage Journal
    It's kind of disgusting that it takes so long for documents to be declassified and released to the public, but I understand that there is always the imminent threat to national security and these things can't be rushed. I understand why many of these documents simply *cannot* be released to the public, but this indexing is truly whetting me appetite for what I cannot have! I would love to read almost any of the articuals in the NSA Technical Journal, and some articles such as 'BS: Dealing with Beaurocracies' sound quite entertaining. Come on, can you really say that What Every Cryptologist Should Know About Pearl Harbor doesn't make you want to storm the NSA headquarters and grab a few copies?

    Sigh, such is life... still, this declassification is the first step to a full release of these documents.

    - dshaw
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Actually, the NSA is one of the better government organizations on this sort of thing. The Military and related agencies (NSA being one of them) take FOIA requests seriously. Most of the rest of the government agencies don't.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by jd (1658)
      I would argue that any Government entity that assumes that because they have not published something it is still a secret from any enemy that matters is so naive as to be a threat to national security on a far greater scale than any release they could possibly do. (Since you can only know for sure what such an enemy has published, you cannot - by definition - know everything they have acquired from you and have not published. Whatever intelligence you gather by any other means is guaranteed to be partial an
      • by AJWM (19027) on Wednesday September 27, 2006 @01:34AM (#16210909) Homepage
        Your analysis makes the mistake of assuming that there's only one enemy (or "potential opponent", if you prefer that term). You also underestimate the value of doubt.

        Even if nations A, B, and C know your secret, there's still D thru Z that don't unless you publish it. Furthermore, A, B and C may not know for sure that they know your secret until you confirm it by publishing. Confirming it tells them not only your secret, but it also tells them that the channel by which they obtained it originally is reliable. At least, assuming you're not just publishing the phony secret that you already know they've obtained, in order to "confirm" a tainted channel.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Yfrwlf (998822)
      All citizens should have the right to know what their leaders know. Anything less isn't fair. The only reason for secrecy is perhaps during times of war, when and where the next attack will occur. Doing anything to get an upper hand against an enemy is naturally sought, but a government isn't or shouldn't be at war with it's citizens. Hiding truths only slows the progress of intelligence and breeds ignorance.
      • by bhiestand (157373)

        All citizens should have the right to know what their leaders know. Anything less isn't fair. The only reason for secrecy is perhaps during times of war, when and where the next attack will occur. Doing anything to get an upper hand against an enemy is naturally sought, but a government isn't or shouldn't be at war with it's citizens. Hiding truths only slows the progress of intelligence and breeds ignorance.

        I'm amazed this passes for "Insightful" these days. Let's start out with an imaginary scenario to p

        • by Yfrwlf (998822)
          You make a good point, and I understand it, but I already did. Yes, secrets will help give you the upper hand over your enemies. So rather than just not sharing information about an attack planned for the next day, you could not share encryption information, and lots of other things as well, because doing so will give you even more cards in your hand. If you go even further with that idea, you could pretty much seal off everything that happens anywhere at anytime, because it ALL could in some way give a
  • Freedom? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by mbulge (1004558)
    3 years is a long time to wait for "free" information.
  • A damn good start. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by glittalogik (837604) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @09:59PM (#16209537)
    A huge part of the effectiveness of FOIA legislation is in knowing what there actually is to ask for in the first place. I can just imagine the flood of new requests they're going to be receiving over the next couple of weeks.
  • a real WTF moment... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by VoidEngineer (633446) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @10:08PM (#16209621)
    - "The Arithmetic of a Generation Principle for an Electronic Key Generator"
    - "CATNIP: Computer Analysis - Target Networks Intercept Probability"
    - "Chatter Patterns: A Last Resort"
    - "COMINT Satellites - A Space Problem"
    - "Computers and Advanced Weapons Systems"
    - "Coupon Collecting and Cryptology"
    - "Cranks, Nuts, and Screwballs"
    - "A Cryptologic Fairy Tale"
    - "Don't Be Too Smart"
    - "Earliest Applications of the Computer at NSA"
    - "Emergency Destruction of Documents"
    - "Extraterrestrial Intelligence"
    - "The Fallacy of the One-Time-Pad Excuse"
    - "GEE WHIZZER"
    - "The Gweeks Had a Gwoup for It"
    - "How to Visualize a Matrix"
    - "Key to the Extraterrestrial Messages"
    - "A Mechanical Treatment of Fibonacci Sequences"
    - "Q.E.D.- 2 Hours, 41 Minutes"
    - "SlGINT Implications of Military Oceanography"
    - "Some Problems and Techniques in Bookbreaking"
    - "Upgrading Selected US Codes and Ciphers with a Cover and Deception Capability"
    - "Weather: Its Role in Communications Intelligence"
    - "Worldwide Language Problems at NSA"
  • by BeeBeard (999187) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @10:10PM (#16209639)
    * Build a waterboarding setup using common household items!

    * Exclusive interview with ECHELON! The Journal: Boxers or Briefs? ECHELON: Beep...beep...

    * The top ten things not even the President knows!

    * Keith Alexander's Beauty Tips!

    * More inside!
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Build a waterboarding setup using common household items!

      NSA gave a presentation on that at my local BDSM chapter.
      • by BeeBeard (999187)
        Mine too. Oh well, I'll just have to assume that some humorless, pro-torture nut modded me down.
        • by arexu (595755)
          Nah, you just weren't funny. Maybe if you had added ninjas or monkeys to your message...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by elrous0 (869638) *
      "How to lose 10 terrorists in 10 days!"

      "Secrets to pleasing your President in the pressroom"

      -Eric

    • by gstoddart (321705)
      * Keith Alexander's Beauty Tips!

      Me, I prefer Alexander Keith's [keiths.ca] beauty tips -- aka beer goggles. :-P
  • Subscription? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by xanthines-R-yummy (635710) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @10:18PM (#16209695) Homepage Journal
    I'm not TS cleared but just for argument's sake, how does one about getting a subscription to a classified journal? Do they mail it to you? Is it in one of the black pastic bags like my "gentleman's" magazine? Is it an electronic system? Internet? Are the little cards that fall out classified too? Etc etc.
    • by BeeBeard (999187)
      The most clever way of doing it is to send it electronically in encoded form--and then leave it to the codebreakers who read the Journal to decode it ;)
    • by (H)elix1 (231155)
      how does one about getting a subscription to a classified journal? Do they mail it to you?

      Inter-office mail?
  • Congratulations NSA, this journal really good to the people who want the information about Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). People can take this journal as a reference of cryptographic topics. Especially for the student who learn about the data security. This journal should be done early, but now still not to late. I hope there is more jurnal will be published by the FOIA.
  • Use the links to get the indexes... In the by-title list in the B's is a whole series Book Review: (title). I believe most of the books are plain old published books. For anyone interested in the history of this stuff, it's interesting to see what books got enough attention to get reviewed here. I think it could be a very interesting reading list! Of course, we've all read David Kahn's The Codebreakers, right?
  • by BlackSabbath (118110) on Wednesday September 27, 2006 @12:35AM (#16210589) Homepage
    Some titles are obviously encrypted, such as:
        "Extraterrestrial Intelligence",
        "Key to the Extraterrestrial Messages"

    which, when decyphered are:
        "IT lie alters electing Rex* in Terrae#",
        "Relax, see eager tits stroke thy master"

    * Rex = latin for King
    # Terrae = latin for Earth

    One is obviously describing the manipulation of the electoral process and the other describes the appropriate response.
  • by El_nino_raj (1004995) on Wednesday September 27, 2006 @05:25AM (#16212043)
    A FOIA request can be made for any agency record. This does not mean, however, that the Department of Justice will disclose all records sought. As noted above, there are statutory exemptions that authorize the withholding of information of a sensitive nature. When the Justice Department does withhold information from you, it ordinarily must specify which exemption of the FOIA permits the withholding. You should be aware that the FOIA does not require agencies to do research for you, to analyze data, to answer written questions, or to create records in order to respond to a request. Although, as discussed immediately below, certain information may be required from a FOIA requester, no special form is required by the Justice Department. Requests must be in writing, either handwritten or typed. While requests may be submitted by fax, most components of the Justice Department have not yet developed the capability to accept FOIA requests submitted through the World Wide Web. In order to protect your privacy as well as the privacy of others, whenever you request information about yourself you will be asked to provide either a notarized statement or a statement signed under penalty of perjury stating that you are the person that you say you are. You may fulfill this requirement by: (1) completing and signing Form DOJ-361 (2) having your signature on your request letter witnessed by a notary, (3) including the following statement immediately above the signature on your request letter: "I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on [date]." If you request information about yourself and do not follow one of these procedures, your request cannot be processed. This requirement helps to ensure that private information about you will not be disclosed to anyone else. Likewise, files relating to another person regarding a matter the disclosure of which would invade that person's privacy ordinarily will not be disclosed. For example, if you seek information that would show that someone else (including even your spouse or another member of your immediate family) has ever been the subject of a criminal investigation -- or even was mentioned in a criminal file -- you will be requested to provide either: (1) a statement by that other person, authorizing the release of the information to you, that has been signed by that person and either was witnessed by a notary or includes a declaration made under penalty of perjury (using the language quoted in the preceding paragraph), (2) evidence that the subject of your request is deceased -- such as a death certificate, a newspaper obituary, or some comparable proof of death. Without the subject's consent or proof of death, in almost all cases the Justice Department will respond to a request made for information concerning another person's possible involvement in a law enforcement matter by stating that it will "neither confirm nor deny" the existence of responsive records. Such law enforcement information about a living person is released without that person's consent only when no personal privacy interest would be invaded by disclosing the information, such as when the information is already public or required to be made public, or when there is such a strong public interest in the disclosure that it overrides the individual's privacy interest. In making your request you should be as specific as possible with regard to names, titles, dates, places, events, subjects, recipients, the component(s) likely to maintain that record, etc. In addition, if you want records about a court case, you should provide the title of the case, the court in which the case was filed, and the nature of the case. If known, you should include any file designations or descriptions for the records that you want. You do not have to give a requested record's name or title, but the more specific you are about the records or types of records that you want, the more likely it will be that the Justice Department will be able to locate those records. For example, if you have been int
  • Browsing through the titles is really fascinating, because it gives you a bit of what the NSA was working on, or what that particular researcher was thinking about. It can even, depending on the title, give you a bit of a window into how that particular researcher thinks.

    To someone who has a clue, this stuff must be a gold mine. Heck, I read the "adam and eve" article, and found out that the US was decrypting Enigma messages all the way back in 1943...and that's in the brochure section. Just looking at the

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