The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Central Security Service (CSS) periodically release declassified documents or indexes to these documents to the public. This is all part of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) which allows for the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased information and documents controlled by the United States Government.
If cryptology and cryptanalysis are your cup of tea, just browse over to NSA’s Declassification Initiatives web page and dive in. You’ll need a few hours to do this justice, so plan on returning a few times.
Here are some juicy finds:
- NSA Technical Journal
- Military Cryptanalysis
- Cryptologic Histories
- The VENONA Story
- Cryptologic Quarterly
- Cryptologic Spectrum
- Oral History Interviews
- Cryptologic Heritage
The declassified documents are a little “long in the tooth”; for security reasons don’t expect to see documents written last month, last year, or even over the last decade. Don’t be surprised if you encounter large blocks of censored material (check out this one, pages 17-94) — no one said the FOIA reduces NSA’s paranoidism! The historic publications, on the other hand, are quite contemporary and recent. In any case, you will find a wealth of classic cryptologic history and information.
One last comment: if you would like cryptologic information that is not available, consider submitting an FOIA request. It might take some time until they get around to processing your request, but they will get to it eventually.
So get a cup of your favorite hot beverage, kick off your shoes, and enjoy a long and enjoyable excursion through the NSA Declassification Initiatives.