The NSA and other Government Intelligence groups, including the UK’s GCHQ, have a long history of meddling in cryptographic standards, which is described in great detail by cryptographer, Prof. Matthew Green.
In June 2004 the Dual EC-DRBG Elliptic curve pseudo-random number generation algorithm appeared in drafts of ANSI X9.82. This algorithm has always been suspected as being a cryptographic back door. Research going back to May 1997 shows that cryptographers were experimenting with algorithms like this and the NSA was behind the drive to include the algorithm in the standard as part of the BULLRUN program.
Ironically, this policy change coincides with the updates in the laws around the control of cryptography. In 1999 the U.S. Government removed cryptography restrictions, which previously viewed the technology as a munition.
It appears to have come full circle now. The NSA’s meddling in the standards having been rumbled and technology firms have moved forward fully end-to-end encrypted messaging services. This forces the hand of law enforcement and intelligence communities that which to peek into our private lives for the sake of security.
With these compromises of our security removed, the government officials are now crying wolf. We are hearing old rhetoric about encryption being a threat to our security, even though those that complain about it utilise it as a cornerstone to their own security.
Let’s not lose sight of what the true aim is here: Governments spying on their own citizens.