No, say Nadia Heninger and Alex Halderman in a recent article in Foreign Affairs. Their verdict is based on evidence that NIST had standardized and promoted a weak encryption algorithm in order to allow the NSA to crack respective implementations easily.


“There is now credible evidence that the NSA has pushed NIST, in at least one case, to canonize an inferior algorithm designed with a backdoor for NSA use. Dozens of companies implemented the standardized algorithm in their software, which means that the NSA could potentially¬†get around security software on millions of computers worldwide. Many in the crypto community now fear that other NIST algorithms may have been subverted as well. Since no one knows which ones, though, some renowned cryptographers are questioning the trustworthiness of all NIST standards.”