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RSA Chairman: NSA Work Is 'Public Record'

Art Coviello calls for global intelligence community reforms, says RSA's work with NSA was never secret.

RSA CONFERENCE 2014 -- San Francisco -- RSA Security executive chairman Art Coviello, in his keynote address at the annual RSA Conference Tuesday, addressed publicly for the first time the security company's relationship with the National Security Agency (NSA), which he said mainly has entailed working with NSA's Information Assurance Directorate (IAD), the cyberdefense arm of the agency.

Coviello stopped short of specifically addressing details of the December Reuters report that the NSA in 2006 had paid RSA $10 million in a secret contract to use the Dual EC DRBG random-number generator algorithm in its Bsafe software in order to facilitate the NSA's spying programs. The encryption algorithm reportedly was one that the NSA was able to crack.

[For more from RSA, see RSA Conference 2014: Complete Coverage.]

"We've been doing business with the NSA for a long time. It's a matter of public record," Coviello said in an interview with Dark Reading after his keynote. "We have worked with the IAD on the defense side of the house. My purpose in the speech was to really get us past the NSA issue and the raise the level of the dialogue."

In a Dec. 22 blog post responsing to allegations of an NSA secret contract, RSA dismissed reports that it had a secret pact with the NSA, stating that "we have never entered into any contract or engaged in any project with the intention of weakening RSA's products, or introducing potential 'backdoors' into our products for anyone's use."

Read the rest of this story on Dark Reading.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

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