Talk:National Institute of Standards and Technology

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Copyright violations?[edit]

Much of the current content of this article appears to come from NIST's official site. Particularly: --LostLeviathan 17:02, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

Here's another example of blatant copy-pasting: Chiros Sunrider 11:58, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Please stop complaining about suspected copyright violations because of copying from the NIST web site. With the exception of material explicitly marked as copyrighted, information presented on NIST web site is considered 'not subject to copyright'. Donlibes 02:33, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

9/11 report is finished[edit]

Yes, the article does need to be updated. I work just down the hall in the Building and Fire Research Laboratory and the 9/11 team recently packed up their stuff and moved out. I was thinking the article could use a picture of some building on the campus. Due to security concerns cameras aren't allowed in many places on campus but it is allowed to take pictures of the Administration Building, so I'll try to bring my camera and get a pic for this page. --Cyde Weys votetalk 00:59, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

public domain source[edit]

I'm pretty certain about this, but can anyone confirm that publications of NIST are public domain, as it is a federal agency? Specifically, I'd like to incorporate some topics from their Engineering Statistics Handbook at [1] Thanks, Btyner 03:38, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

I can assure you that that handbook is not subject to copyright - indeed, it says so within. Donlibes 02:36, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

What is the meaning of this?[edit]

"Oyster Tissue (SRM 1566b, $540, 25 g)" ???

That means that Standard Reference Material 1566b is oyster tissue, and is sold for $540 per 25g. --Alynna 04:17, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
How is peanut butter being sold for $3/gram? More elaboration is needed on what is special about these products, otherwise it seems like they are selling supermarket items for outrageous prices. NIST's SRF pages for different products (such as for peanut butter) do not explain. Dwr12 (talk) 06:50, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
Standard Reference Materials have published, guaranteed compositions, physical properties, etc. They're for testing and calibrating analytical methods, not for eating. Though at least the NIST peanut butter presumably has no salmonella in it. Mahousu (talk) 13:58, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

The list is a shopping list that belongs on ebay, not here. Suggest removal.

NIST and ANSI[edit]

What is the division of labor between the American National Standards Institute and the NIST -- how do they avoid generating 2 conflicting standards for the same thing?

The answer to this question is not trivial. But here's a quick answer - somewhat superficial but probably good enough. First, NIST creates standards for federal use. ANSI creates standards for industry. So they have two different audiences. Nonetheless there is overlap since both frequently want, for example, to buy off-the-shelf items that interoperate. In any case, NIST avoids conflicting standards in part because NIST experts will already be cognizant of efforts at the time that ANSI embarks on the creation of a standard (and vice versa). Indeed, NIST representatives often serve as committee members of ANSI and other standards-setting organizations. This is not to say that conflicts don't happen but there is almost always an effort at 'harmonization' so that if NIST does create its own standard (for statutory reasons for example), it is not in conflict with another organization's version of the same thing. -- Donlibes 02:54, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

WRONG WRONG WRONG - NIST sets the standards for NOBODY, not even the federal government. The organizations like AISI, ASTM and ISO set them. NIST works on the measurement science to make the numbers that come out of the standards the best they can be. For example, physicists at NIST have won 4 Nobel Prizes for working on the precise measurement of the second, but don't define it. They work to the external definition and the consensus votes within these other organizations. Don, you work at NIST and should know better than what you wrote. (talk) 00:40, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

Discussion of NIST and Peer Review[edit]

Moved from Wikipedia talk:Requests for comment/Seabhcan Travb (talk) 00:19, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

"Another fine comment there from Professor Mongo. Keep up the fight against Junk Science Prof. Mongo!"10:14, 30 April 2006 - "Mongo's contribution to the world of science."

This after Mongo had told us his personal definition of 'peer-reviewed'. A term he uses to remove things he doesn't like and promote things he does. Mongo thinks something is peer-reviewed if a lot of people wrote it. Lord Seabhcán of Baloney 13:49, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
I guess this is the "crazy personal definition of 'peer reviewed'" you are mentioning? "Mongo thinks something is peer reviewed if lots of people wrote it?. No, I think something is peer reviewed if it stands up to cross examination from outside parties, and no authoritative figures or entities have claimed that the findings of NIST have any flaws in their reports that are of any merit to speak of.--MONGO 11:42, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Ah, I see you still maintain that definition. No. It isn't peer reviewed if lots of people have read it either. Peer review is a complex process involving anonymous reviewers and taking place before publication. The NIST report was not peer reviewed and its authors don't claim it was. Lord Seabhcán of Baloney 12:03, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
And what entity of any substance challeges the findings...that is the one of any credibility has refuted the NIST findings...if someone does, then so be it. Sorry you think I am a haggard soul...let me know what I can do to make you think differently of me. I don't want to be thought of as a dumb American or a haggard soul.--MONGO 16:36, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
That wasn't the issue in that discussion. You were pushing the incorrect claim that NIST was peer-reviewed. As for the "credibility" of someone questioning NIST, there of course isn't anyone and never could be. This is because as soon as someone questions NIST, by your definition, they lose credibility, because they then become a 'conspiracy theorist'. This is circular logic at its finest. ... al Seabhcán bin Baloney (Hows my driving?) 16:49, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Well surely there must be some respected entity that would question the NIST you completely dismiss the findings of several thousand contributors to not be essentially comparable to a normal peer-review process? If the facts were off, don't you think that the potential for financial gain (or for the sake of "honesty") would be sufficient to ensure at least a small handful of these collaborative contibutors would come forward and provide proof that there was a government coverup of sorts? You do know that federal employees in the U.S. are rarely rich I imagine. Is there any reputable entity that has refuted the findings of NIST? Are you also saying that the numerous engineers who have agreed with the findings of the NIST reports have not by stating their agreement performed a peer review?--MONGO 17:03, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I'm saying that. They were deceived by BAD science made by NIST with much help of govermnent. You might want to read critiqe of NIST by Kevin Ryan and decide if it makes sense... you might want to check how many scientists are members of Scholar for 9/11 Truth.... but you probably won't. SalvNaut 17:47, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
There are a number of separate issues here. First, true or not, the NIST document simply wasn't peer-reviewed. And no-one claims it was. I think it isn't even common for official government reports to be peer-reviewed. Certainly I can't think of any. That is just a fact, and is a separate issue from whether NIST was good science or not.
As for financial gain... I've never heard of a government wistleblower making any money from his efforts. You usually get fired and, having been labeled as a trouble maker, find it hard to find a new job. There was, in fact, a NIST wistleblower who got fired. I know you think he was a 'conspiracy loon', but that is quite apart from the fact that he did exist, did complain, did go to the press and was fired. ... al Seabhcán bin Baloney (Hows my driving?) 17:11, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
So, like Steven E. Jones, he had a story to tell and he didn't deserve to be scrutinized? But surely, one or even a few folks could certainly capitalize, many have on numerous other things, and gotten quite rich doing do understand that there were hundreds of private sector structural engineers and other entities that contributed to the NIST reports as consultants...why would virtually all of them be loyal to a fallacy?--MONGO 17:23, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Steven Jones's paper was peer-reviewed by 4 PhDs (two of them physicists). Peer review process, when made, states the fact that paper "makes sense", that there is "a case" with it. Anyway, Jones main point in it is a call for another investigation. SalvNaut 17:47, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Can you give an example of any government employee who has gone public to point out a government crime or fraud (any issue, any time) and has made money doing it? ... al Seabhcán bin Baloney (Hows my driving?) 17:30, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Mostly it's a private sector thing...but involves the feds...not sure they got rich, yet, but certainly blew the whistle...[2], [3], [4], [5], [6]...the point is, people talk, and in all of these examples, their whistleblowing proved to be based on facts that led to major upheavals...I'll be waiting patiently for a whistleblower to come forward about the NIST reports as being a fabrication.--MONGO 18:28, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Never said there weren't wistleblowers, the question was whether any made money off it, as you were suggesting. None of those you listed seem to have done well after. And of course we've had one wistleblower from NIST. But he is by definition not credible because he suggests there is a conspiracy. Circular logic. ... al Seabhcán bin Baloney (Hows my driving?) 18:48, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
One would hope that profit wouldn't be the only reason to "come forward"...but seriously, you do realize that about 30% of the investigators that worked on the NIST report, those that contributed knowledge, were private consultants? And the NIST report has been completely open...anyone can read it...yet not one engineering agency of any reputation has refuted the findings...seems odd. Okay, I'm usually well read, so who is this whistleblower who used to work at NIST?--MONGO 18:54, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
I assume you mean Kevin Ryan?--MONGO 18:57, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Well, I think profit is never a reason, because they never make a profit. Where would they get it from? Kevin Ryan is the guy. As for other engineering agencies refuting the findings - they never do this for anything. Its not their job. They don't even read NIST reports unless it impacts on their businesses.
The NIST report is public and I've read it. I also heard the head of NIST interviewed on Irish radio a few weeks back. He claimed their study found that the building collapsed because of temperatures above 1000c. However, nowhere in the NIST report does it say this. So, if he is that 'mistaken' when talking to the media, should we trust his report? ... al Seabhcán bin Baloney (Hows my driving?) 19:04, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

You mean William Jeffrey? I'd like to see you source for that information.--MONGO 19:13, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Yes, Kevin Ryan...I think the article on him was deleted since he was deemed to be not notable? Now he's the main one that was a NIST employee wo claims the feds covered the events of 9/11 up?--MONGO 19:15, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
So, these engineering firms simply choose to ignore NIST...why would they do that?--MONGO 19:16, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm not saying that they ignore NIST generally, they simply read those reports that effect their businesses. How many would have taken the time to read this particular report in full? And why would they - it doesn't impact on their businesses. How many engineering firms have read it and officially and publicly agreed with it? I'd be interested if any have. ... al Seabhcán bin Baloney (Hows my driving?) 19:21, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Oh, come on now...that's like stating that people in particular fields don't read each other's a physical anthropologist wouldn't read a publically accessible paper by another physical anthropologist just because it may not be of a profit to them...I find that difficult to believe. Surely, a publically accessible paper such as the NIST report would have been extremely interesting to a plethora of engineers. Yet, no one of repute has rejected the findings? You let me know when you find prove that the NIST report is based on a falacy for I would love to read it.--MONGO 05:16, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm... 10 hours between the question and Mongo's reply. Am I to assume that you spent some time trying to find a single engineering firm which publicly supports this NIST report and failed? Until I see someone credible and notable publicly support the report, accusations that no one has publicly challenged it are moot. ... al Seabhcán bin Baloney (Hows my driving?) 13:25, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

What does this have to do with Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Seabhcan? Shouldn't this be moved to the page you guys are aruging about? Travb (talk) 06:51, 21 November 2006 (UTC)


I added this template as I believe the "Homeland security" sections reads like an advertisement. For example, even the term "homeland security" is highly subjective, and its nature even more so. I believe the whole section is written in a kind of tabloid style which aims to promote the notion that NIST is protecting Americans from the "evil terrorists".

"NIST is helping law enforcement, the military, emergency services, information technology, airport and building security, and other areas protect the American public from terrorist threats."

The problems I have with this are that it implies that there is even a threat at all and with the unsourced nature of promotion of the section as a whole, sounds like it is idolising NIST without stating what these "threats" are.

I do not want this to turn into a silly political debate. I request that someone who knows a lot about NIST could rephrase the section using as neutral a language as possible. Coconuteire 20:54, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

I believe the entire article reads like an advert. The following I find to be either unencyclopedic or shameless advertising:
"share the early-stage development of innovative but high-risk technologies"
" products. To accomplish this goal, the center leverages and combines the diverse knowledge and capabilities of..."
"measurement facilities—including a cost effective NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR) user facility where cutting edge research is done on new and improved"
Measurements and Standards
"As part of its mission,...highest quality and metrological value."
"...artifacts are certified as having specific characteristics..."
Collapse of the World Trade Centre
"...program to engage leaders of the construction and building community..." - How in-specific! Are they "engaging" these mysterious "leaders" in combat, perhaps?
Later on there is a "13 persons" remark where "13 people" or "13 men" is better, but you get my drift. All the above are pungent examples of typical marketing gibberish. I suggest an "advertising" warning over, er, the whole page, but I won't act unilaterally on this. Comments? Vicarvictor 25 July 2007

Merge from AD-X2[edit]

I have added the merge template from AD-X2, proposing that we bring the content of that article here. AD-X2 was a battery additive that caused controversy when the NBS named it a fraud. The AD-X2 article is very short and for the most part deals with the NBS fallout. Any objections to moving the content here? -- MisterHand 14:39, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Objection: What does AD-X2 have to do with NIST? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
If you read the AD-X2 article, the main content has everything to do with NBS (the predecessor of NIST) and their declaring AD-X2 to be fraudulent. -- MisterHand (Talk to the Hand|Contribs) 16:49, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
Objection I created the AD-X2 stub since I found it to be an interesting and notable subject in its own right--it was the subject of Senate hearings and many news articles in the 40s and 50s. Articles such as Sinclair Weeks and others about batteries and consumer fraud etc. could link to it. It does not seem it would fit well as a subsection of the current NIST article at all. Though, this brings up the fact that the current NIST article contains no history section and does not mention that it used to do brand name testing. —pfahlstrom 01:46, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
Oppose If one wanted to look up information on this article, they shouldn’t have to wade through an entire article on the NIST. Exploring the nominator’s logic to its natural extents, any article stub that starts out short should be deleted and merged into another, related article if one can be found. Greg L (my talk) 01:42, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

NIST Neutron Standard and Homeland Security[edit]

The NIST holds an extremely special place in national security. As part of IAEA proliferation security its neutron standard maintains accurate binding energy values. Artifactual neutron calibration allows inference of neutron nuclear binding energy.

An implication of error in standards such as these is the possibility of low enriched uranium atomic bombs. Slight error causes inconsistency in nuclear theory relative to gravitation.

Debate exists over the need for continued Homeland oversight.

-- 04:10, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

This is written in four transform for some readers, but in common abstract form it stinks. To paraphase_"The safety guy has removed the standard."-- 15:20, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

contigency plan for Power project[edit]

contigency plan for Power project how can be developed —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:47, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

RfC on correctnes of NIST document[edit]

A Request for Comment is in progress at Talk: United States customary units on whether a NIST document is correct when it indicates that the link, rod, chain, acre, and statute mile are based on the U.S. survey foot, not the international foot. --Jc3s5h (talk) 20:08, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Article issues[edit]

I added a number of tags to the article, regarding the tone and wording used in the article. It's supposed to be written from a neutral, objective third-party perspective, however with frequently uses terms like "most" and "best" and other promotional language, the article lacks neutrality and proper tone. Also, the article has inadequate references.

Along with the main article, there are a number of subarticles (Advanced Technology Program and Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award that should be cleaned up, rewritten for proper tone, and merged into into the main NIST article. --Aude (talk) 03:18, 6 June 2009 (UTC)


hey guys the following sentence is written under the section about NIST's involvement in the 9/11 report.

"NIST also determined that it was IMPOSSIBLE for the collapse to occur at free fall speed and NIST determined that it indeed did fall at Free fall speed indicating that it was not fires that brought the tower down."

I don't think "impossible" should be in caps. Also, there is a logical contradiction in this sentence: did Nist determine that the collapse occur at free fall speed, or did it determine that it was impossible to occur at free fall speed? I'm not going to edit the page as this is a touchy issue (I'm not really a conspiracy buff or anything), just wanted to put it out there for a more senior editor to edit the page. A newbie here point it out so don't flame me or anything. (talk) 05:09, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

It was vandalism by a conspiracy theorist and has been removed. Conspiracy claims like this don't belong on WP articles except on conspiracy-theory articles themselves; see WP:UNDUE. If you see this kind of thing again, feel free to remove it. -Jordgette (talk) 08:03, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

Nobel Prizes[edit]

Three Nobel prizes is not the largest number for any government laboratory. Research staff at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (formerly Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, but always a U.S. DoE-contracted government laboratory since its founding in 1962) have won three Nobel Prizes in Physics (1976, 1990, and 1995,) and research done at SLAC, by affiliated researchers, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2006 and 2009. See . I will modify this article in April if not changed by then. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:13, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

As you say, DOE *CONTRACTORS*. None of the weapons labs nor SLAC are US GOVERNMENT LABS. The scientists there are employees of Stanford or Berkeley or Martin Marietta or Bechtel, and are NOT US GOVERNMENT SCIENTISTS. They do not follow US Civil Service rules nor do they deal with US government regs other than secrecy and all the normal labor laws that everyone else has to. The only GOVERNMENT labs are NIST, NRL, the various Air Force labs, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, DOE Mines Research Lab, NIH, CDC, Army research labs, Corps of Engineers in Memphis, etc. SLAC is no more a US government lab than any university receiving research funding. The previous submission was precise and correct as written, and has been restored. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:02, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

I agree with the majority of your statement, all except for the last sentence. SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, like Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the weapons labs, are national laboratories -- they are fundamentally different than universities receiving research funding. They are considered DoE laboratories. (Of course NSF has some too, like NOAO, etc.) Although the staff are (in the case of SLAC) employees of Stanford (by special arrangement), each of those laboratories has permanent onsite DoE staff with oversight authority. To avoid confusion, and to be specific, I suggest changing the text from "government laboratory" to "government operated laboratory" -- that would exclude national laboratories operated under contract. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:01, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

That's the second-to-last sentence, and again, you are wrong. "Considered DOE labs" - in error. I run into people all the time who think "DOE Lab people" are feds, and they are not. A misconception commonly-held is still wrong, and this alone is enough to exclude it from the NIST entry. All of those labs that you mention also do contract industrial work, and again are run by private companies or universities. Whether there are DOE people onsite to facilitate funding, and whether they get a large majority of their funding from DOE, is irrelevant - the DOE people do not work for the institution - the work for DOE, and they have oversight authority only insofar as they make sure they are on spec with the contract. They do NOT do day-to-day management. They are distinctly different from, say, NASA in Greenbelt, which is full of contractors but fully owned by the US Government. You could compare this to JPL, which is mainly funded by NASA, but does other work and is owned by Cal Tech. Is JHU's APL a military facility since they get 90% of their funding from the Air Force? No. The entry is correct as written. Please feel free to add an entry for "government funded labs" but for accuracy you'd better get them all - the vast majority of US science Nobel winners were US Government funded in their labs to some degree. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:43, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

SLAC is a GOCO (government owned contractor operated) entity. All of SLAC and its assets are owned wholly by the federal government. Everything SLAC does is for the federal government: no lab resources are contractable by private firms. The same is true at Fermilab, and I have been employed by both for a total of nearly 12 years. How you can define something that is wholly owned by the US government as not a government entity is beyond me. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:31, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Easily - ARE THEY FEDERAL EMPLOYEES? NO. Therefore, NOT a government laboratory. Every piece of equipment bought by a US government grant is technically still owned by the US Government. Are you saying pieces of most universities are federal facilities as a consequence? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:39, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

The point is for these three guys to deal with the limited funding at a real government lab, plus the whipsawing political winds and changing mission, plus not being able to get funding from practically any other source inside or outside government, plus limitations on being able to bring in students and postdocs, plus the crappy pay, and still land Nobel Prizes is pretty damn amazing. We make a max of $155,500 per year (2011). How much do the senior profs at SLAC make base plus grants? $400K+? Yes, I've reviewed their grant applications, and I've seen their salaries. They are SO not feds. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:47, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

The topic of National Measurement Institute is created based on the following....[edit]

-- (talk) 00:52, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

NSA and NIST[edit]

The Times article says:

Simultaneously, the N.S.A. has been deliberately weakening the international encryption standards adopted by developers. One goal in the agency’s 2013 budget request was to “influence policies, standards and specifications for commercial public key technologies,” the most common encryption method.

Cryptographers have long suspected that the agency planted vulnerabilities in a standard adopted in 2006 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and later by the International Organization for Standardization, which has 163 countries as members.

Classified N.S.A. memos appear to confirm that the fatal weakness, discovered by two Microsoft cryptographers in 2007, was engineered by the agency. The N.S.A. wrote the standard and aggressively pushed it on the international group, privately calling the effort “a challenge in finesse.”

“Eventually, N.S.A. became the sole editor,” the memo says.

This article is wrong in a subtlety. Standards are not adopted by NIST, but by ASTM, AISI, ISO and other bodies. If the NSA put this in, it was via ISO ("pushed it on the international group. . ."), NOT NIST. (talk) 00:36, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

The article is not wrong. SP 800-90 is a NIST standard listed on the NIST website. See The SP actually stands for NIST Special Publication. The pseudorandom number generator was inserted into this publication (and the document still exists, see web site above) before it was submitted to ISO. Note: NIST is accredited as a standards setting agency by ANSI -- see the ANSI web site for a list of all US accredited standards setting organisations. The Guardian article has slightly more info. Please re-insert the text you deleted.

Ross Fraser (talk) 05:55, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

NIST is designated by ANSI as the US DELEGATE TO ISO, NOT any standards "setting" agency. NIST is a non-regulatory agency that DOES NOT SET standards. Standards are set by consensus by organizations like ISO. NIST can't tell anyone to do anything, with very limited subpoena exceptions like the National Construction Safety Team.
The article says people suspected in 2006 that NIST had helped the NSA get that into the standard, and a Microsoft engineer found it in 2007. Post hoc ergo propter hoc. Just because it was there does not mean NIST put it in. These standards have many authors, and BTW just because NIST put out an SP does not make NIST the author of the contents. There are thousands of SPs that are simply printings of externally generated and approved standards. Although there is no proof that NIST put it in (BTW also, ISO has records of all the changes - maybe someone should commit a little journalism and check into it), for the sake of argument let's presume they did. ISO standards are approved by committees of representatives from all countries that have an interest in that standard. The NSA, as stated in the article where they worked "that international organization", had to convince dozens of countries to leave it in. Grenada has as much input as the US. So this would be a MUCH wider problem than just NIST, and there is no proof that NIST did anything. Also, just as it is far from the case that if a reporter writes it it is true, just because AISI has something on their web site does not make it accurate. The list on the AISI web site are NOT standards SETTING organizations, they are National Metrological Institutes. AISI, ASTM, ISO, SAE etc SET the standards via voting in committees by members that have stakes in the standards.
The two reporters were very careful to parse their words and make statements back to back to imply connections and cause-effect. They likely saw a bullet on a powerpoint slide, put it together with speculations and tried to pass it off as proven. Especially the Times article, there are simply a string of (mostly) unproven assertions and rumors that the reporters are trying to get the reader to string together.
I read the SP you cite. In the title, it says "recommendation". In the intro, it cites legislative authority of which I was underinformed, and NIST does indeed set the crypto standards - for federal government non-spook use. NOT the Internet. It explicitly states it is uncopyrighted and available for use by anyone else ON A VOLUNTARY BASIS. Is this what you mean by NIST "set" this standard for the NSA to open up the Internet for them?? By tossing it out there and saying "use it if you want, whatever"?? This publication isn't even part of the standard - it's something for the committee to consider in discussions to see if they want it in. You and these articles WAY overstate NIST's role. They are not proven sources and this section, as I said, if it goes back has to be re-written to remove assertions and implications of NIST's complicity with the NSA. The evidence is not there. (talk) 15:20, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
No one has claimed NIST sets standards for the Internet: that is done by the IETF. SP800-90 was, is and always will be a NIST publication issued by NIST and available on their web site as a special publication. However, the pseudorandom number generator described in SP800-90 has gone on to be used in some implementations of the TLS protocol, which *is* an important part of the Internet. See the WP article Dual_EC_DRBG (which has not been written or edited by me). The reporters (and now others) have made the allegation that the NSA interfered with a NIST technical publication (which NIST itself refers to as a cryptographic standard" -- see below). Whatever might be said about the reporting by the NYT, it is reporting by the NYT (and the Guardian and Pro Publica, and others) and hence is certainly a reputable source; especially in a section titled "Controversy". And NIST itself has responded to this controversy:
"NIST WEIGHS IN: One of the biggest revelations from yesterday’s Guardian/NYT/Pro Publica stories, at least for D.C. bureaucrats, was that the NSA worked under-the-radar to inject a security weakness into a standard released by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in 2006. For its part, NIST — which has a key role in President Barack Obama’s cybersecurity plans — didn’t explicitly address the reports in a statement Thursday night. But it did say it works to fix any security holes that it knows about.
“NIST works to publish the strongest cryptographic standards possible,” the agency said in a statement. “We use a transparent, public process to rigorously vet our recommended standards. If vulnerabilities are found, we work with the cryptographic community to address them as quickly as possible.”
See also the FCW article "What NSA's influence on NIST standards means for feds" at It provides further background and a broader perspective on the issue's significance.
Please re-insert the text you deleted. You are very welcome to add whatever sourced material you would like to provide balance to the encyclopedic coverage of this issue. Ross Fraser (talk) 07:28, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
I put it back in. If someone thinks it's flawed, okay, but I didn't think that blanking was the answer. Also, I try to assume good faith at all times, but anonymous pro-NIST edits coming from IPs that are within 20 miles of NIST headquarters... ummm... I hope there's no COI here. Poindexter Propellerhead (talk) 22:52, 9 September 2013 (UTC)