Before the USA updated its U.S. Encryption Export Control Policy, all software programs using encyption using keys had to meet certain criterion. Basically they had to make it easier for the National Security Agency to use a brute-force (exhaustive search of all possible keys) approach to crack the key used, by implementing a back door in their software. This was done by encrypting 24 of the 64 bits in the cryptographic key for the NSA’s public key.
Adam Back discovered the public key by reverse engineering the dated Lotus Notes application. This is the surprising fact that he has to share with us…
“… I discovered that the NSA public key had an organizational name of “MiniTruth”, and a common name of “Big Brother”. Specifically what I saw in my debugger late one night, which was spooky for a short moment was:
O=MiniTruth CN=Big Brother
Literary note: for those who have not read Orwell’s prescient “1984″ the Ministry of Truth was the agency who’s job was propaganda and suppression of truths that did not suit the malignant fictional future government in the book, and “Big Brother” was the evil shadowy leader of this government.”
I guess the discovery would have made him a very happy man, for some time!!
I ran into this page while searching for some details about the RSA cryptographic algorithm.