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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Cryptography and the Intelligence Community: The Future of Encryption. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26168.
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Cryptography and the
Intelligence Community

The Future of Encryption

_____

Committee on the Future of Encryption

Intelligence Community Studies Board

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences


Consensus Study Report

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Cryptography and the Intelligence Community: The Future of Encryption. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26168.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001

This study was supported by Contract No. 2020-20011300401-002 with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any agency or organization that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-49135-8
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-49135-5
Digital Object Identifier: https://doi.org/10.17226/26168

Copies of this publication are available from

Intelligence Community Studies Board
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
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Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Cryptography and the Intelligence Community: The Future of Encryption. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/26168.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Cryptography and the Intelligence Community: The Future of Encryption. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26168.
×

The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. John L. Anderson is president.

The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president.

The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine.

Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.nationalacademies.org.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Cryptography and the Intelligence Community: The Future of Encryption. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26168.
×

Consensus Study Reports published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine document the evidence-based consensus on the study’s statement of task by an authoring committee of experts. Reports typically include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and the committee’s deliberations. Each report has been subjected to a rigorous and independent peer-review process and it represents the position of the National Academies on the statement of task.

Proceedings published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine chronicle the presentations and discussions at a workshop, symposium, or other event convened by the National Academies. The statements and opinions contained in proceedings are those of the participants and are not endorsed by other participants, the planning committee, or the National Academies.

Rapid Expert Consultations published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are authored by subject-matter experts on narrowly focused topics that can be supported by a body of evidence. The discussions contained in rapid expert consultations are considered those of the authors and do not contain policy recommendations. Rapid expert consultations are reviewed by the institution before release.

For information about other products and activities of the National Academies, please visit www.nationalacademies.org/about/whatwedo.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Cryptography and the Intelligence Community: The Future of Encryption. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26168.
×

COMMITTEE ON THE FUTURE OF ENCRYPTION

STEVEN B. LIPNER, NAE,1 SAFECode/Carnegie Mellon University, Chair

MARK LOWENTHAL, Intelligence & Security Academy, LLC, Vice Chair

HANS ROBERT DAVIES, Toffler Associates

CHIP ELLIOTT, BBN Technologies

GLENN S. GERSTELL, Center for Strategic & International Studies

NADIA HENINGER, University of California, San Diego

SENY KAMARA, Brown University

PAUL CARL KOCHER, NAE, American Cryptographer

BRIAN LAMACCHIA, Microsoft Research

BUTLER W. LAMPSON, NAS2/NAE, Microsoft Research

RAFAIL OSTROVSKY, University of California, Los Angeles

ELIZABETH RINDSKOPF PARKER, State Bar of California (retired)

PETER SWIRE, Georgia Institute of Technology

PETER J. WEINBERGER, Google, Inc.

Staff

CARYN A. LESLIE, Acting Director, Intelligence Community Studies Board

JON EISENBERG, Director, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board

LYNETTE MILLETT, Senior Program Officer, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board

MARGUERITE SCHNEIDER, Administrative Coordinator, Intelligence Community Studies Board

___________________

1 Member, National Academy Engineering.

2 Member, National Academy of Sciences.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Cryptography and the Intelligence Community: The Future of Encryption. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26168.
×

INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY STUDIES BOARD

MARK LOWENTHAL, Intelligence & Security Academy, LLC, Co-Chair

MICHAEL A. MARLETTA, NAS1/NAM,2 University of California, Berkeley, Co-Chair

JOEL BRENNER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

ROBERT CARDILLO, The Cardillo Group, LLC

FREDERICK R. CHANG, NAE,3 Southern Methodist University

DEAN CHENG, The Heritage Foundation

ROBERT C. DYNES, NAS, University of California (president emeritus)

ROBERT A. FEIN, Harvard Medical School

HUBAN A. GOWADIA, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

MARGARET A. HAMBURG, NAM, Nuclear Threat Initiative

MIRIAM E. JOHN, Independent Consultant

ANITA K. JONES, NAE, University of Virginia (professor emerita)

STEVEN E. KOONIN, NAS, Center for Urban Science and Progress

CARMEN L. MIDDLETON, The Walt Disney Company

ARTHUR L. MONEY, NAE, Department of Defense

WILLIAM C. OSTENDORFF, United States Naval Academy

DAVID A. RELMAN, NAM, Stanford University

ELIZABETH RINDSKOPF PARKER, State Bar of California (retired)

SAMUEL S. VISNER, The MITRE Corporation

DAVID A. WHELAN, NAE, Cubic

Staff

DIONNA ALI, Associate Program Officer

BRYAN BUNNELL, Research Associate

JOSEPH CZIKA, Senior Program Officer

MICHAEL ANTHONY FAINBERG, Senior Program Officer

CARYN A. LESLIE, Acting Director

NIA JOHNSON, Program Officer

MARGUERITE SCHNEIDER, Administrative Coordinator

___________________

1 Member, National Academy of Sciences.

2 Member, National Academy of Medicine.

3 Member, National Academy of Engineering.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Cryptography and the Intelligence Community: The Future of Encryption. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26168.
×

Acknowledgment of Reviewers

This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.

We thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

Cynthia Beall, NAS,1 Case Western Reserve University,

Thomas A. Berson, NAE,2 Salesforce,

Susan Landau, The Fletcher School and Tufts School of Engineering,

Marvin J. Langston, Langston Associates, LLC,

John Manferdelli, VMWare,

Julie J.H.C. Ryan, Wyndrose Technical Group, and

Fred Schneider, NAE, Cornell University.

Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Robert F. Sproull, NAE, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Deborah Westphal, Toffler Associates. They were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies.

___________________

1 Member, National Academy of Sciences.

2 Member, National Academy of Engineering.

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Cryptography and the Intelligence Community: The Future of Encryption. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26168.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Cryptography and the Intelligence Community: The Future of Encryption. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26168.
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Preface

The U.S. Intelligence Community, like intelligence organizations worldwide, uses encryption to protect sensitive information from disclosure and modification, and also seeks to decrypt encrypted information that it collects as part of its mission. In 2020, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence requested that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine conduct a study to explore the future of encryption over the next 10 to 20 years. The study was to explore technical and non-technical drivers that would affect the viability of the community’s use of encryption to protect information and the challenges of defeating adversaries’ encryption and to produce a set of scenarios that would illustrate possible futures in which the Intelligence Community would have to operate.

The National Academies established the Committee on the Future of Encryption to conduct the study. The full statement of task for the committee is shown in Appendix A. The biographies of the committee members that authored this report are shown in Appendix B.

Committee members included academics, industrial researchers, and engineering practitioners in cryptography and computer science as well as attorneys and policy and intelligence professionals. They brought great expertise in the technology of encryption, its applications and integration into information systems and networks, and the policies and operations of government agencies that both use and seek to defeat encryption. Because of the constraints posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the committee was unable to meet in person and held virtual meetings biweekly from September 2020 to September 2021.

The committee operated under the auspices of the National Academies’ Intelligence Community Studies Board and is grateful for the able assistance of Caryn A. Leslie, Marguerite Schneider, and Lynette Millett of the National Academies’ staff.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Cryptography and the Intelligence Community: The Future of Encryption. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26168.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Cryptography and the Intelligence Community: The Future of Encryption. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26168.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Cryptography and the Intelligence Community: The Future of Encryption. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26168.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Cryptography and the Intelligence Community: The Future of Encryption. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26168.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Cryptography and the Intelligence Community: The Future of Encryption. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26168.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Cryptography and the Intelligence Community: The Future of Encryption. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26168.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Cryptography and the Intelligence Community: The Future of Encryption. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26168.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Cryptography and the Intelligence Community: The Future of Encryption. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26168.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Cryptography and the Intelligence Community: The Future of Encryption. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26168.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Cryptography and the Intelligence Community: The Future of Encryption. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26168.
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Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Cryptography and the Intelligence Community: The Future of Encryption. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26168.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Cryptography and the Intelligence Community: The Future of Encryption. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26168.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Cryptography and the Intelligence Community: The Future of Encryption. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26168.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Cryptography and the Intelligence Community: The Future of Encryption. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26168.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Cryptography and the Intelligence Community: The Future of Encryption. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26168.
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Encryption is a process for making information unreadable by an adversary who does not possess a specific key that is required to make the encrypted information readable. The inverse process, making information that has been encrypted readable, is referred to as decryption. Cryptography has become widespread and is used by private as well as governmental actors. It also enables authentication and underlies the safe use of the Internet and computer systems by individuals and organizations worldwide. Emerging cryptographic technologies offer capabilities such as the ability to process encrypted information without first decrypting it.

At the request of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, this report identifies potential scenarios that would describe the balance between encryption and decryption over the next 10 to 20 years and assesses the national security and intelligence implications of each scenario. For each of these scenarios, Cryptography and the Intelligence Community identifies risks, opportunities, and actions. Attention to the findings should enable the Intelligence Community to prepare for the future and to recognize emerging trends and developments and respond appropriately.

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