4 June 1998

Date: Thu, 04 Jun 1998 15:05:55 -0400
To: jy@jya.com
From: Edward Roback <edward.roback@nist.gov>
Subject: web references

FYI, on our web site we recently posted the DRAFT encryption key recovery
recommendations of the Technical Advisory Committee to Develop a Federal
Infomation Processing Standard for the Federal Key Management

See  http://csrc.nist.gov/tacdfipsfkmi/ under the "June 1998" section 
[mirror below]

We also posted a draft of the Committee's transmittal letter to the
Secretary of Commerce.  

See http://csrc.nist.gov/tacdfipsfkmi/cover.txt [mirror below]

Both of these will be discussed at the Committee's meeting June 17-19.

Ed Roback, NIST

Materials from June 1998 Meeting
June 1998Discussion Draft Cover Letter cover.txt
[see below]
June 1998Draft Assembled Document (MS Word '97) OriginalFIPS698_Word97.doc
[NIST link]
June 1998Draft Assembled Document (MS Word 6 / '95)FIPS698_Word95.doc
[NIST link]
June 1998Draft Assembled Document text formatFIPS698.txt
[NIST link]
[Mirror on this site (222K)]

Source: http://csrc.nist.gov/tacdfipsfkmi/cover.txt Following is a draft of the cover letter for discussion at the June 1998 TAC meeting... D R A F T (5/26/98) Secretary of Commerce Etc. Dear Mr. Secretary: I am pleased to forward to you the enclosed recommended draft of the "Technical Advisory Committee to Develop a Federal Information Processing Standard for the Federal Key Management Infrastructure" for a federal Key Recovery Standard. This recommendation fulfills the requirements established in the Charter establishing this Technical Advisory Committee, and we are cognizant of the steps you are obligated to take under various statutes and policies to seek public comment in making your determination about whether this draft should, in fact, become a Federal Information Processing Standard. In carrying out our work, we are cognizant that the market technologies for encryption key recovery are in the early stages of evolution. Therefore, our recommendations specify functional, security, interoperability, and assurance requirements for key recovery functions within a TAC-defined key recovery model, but do not endorse any specific key recovery technology. Since we began meeting in December, 1996, we have necessarily remained focused on producing a recommendation within our allocated timeframe. Therefore, our recommendation addresses key recovery components (e.g., end-user products and key recovery agents), but does not address the assembly of components into a working key recovery system, or other aspects of procuring, implementing, or operating a key recovery system. As our worked progress, we took due note of a number of important parallel steps would assist in implementing any FIPS that you determine appropriate for federal government use in this area. Thus, the TAC strongly recommends that a number of supporting activities be undertaken by the government in order for this standard to be useful and useable. First, detailed implementation guidance should be developed to address, among other issues, how agencies should configure products containing conforming functions into operational full key recovery systems. Issues regarding the integration of key recovery systems into applications and procurement of key recovery services also need to be addressed. Operational, personnel, and managerial issues are of great importance as well. The TAC believes that the preparation of such guidance will require substantial effort, at least comparable to that of our work over the past nineteen months. Additionally, for security concerns, we do not support vendor self-declarations of conformance to this standard and urge you to pursue a conformance testing program along the lines of NIST's excellent (NVLAP) program for the security of cryptographic modules under FIPS 140-1. This, too, is a considerable undertaking, but one we feel is necessary to provide agencies (and other users) with sufficient assurance of the quality and security of the key recovery products they procure. We urge these activities be undertaken with input from industry and the federal community. As you know, Committee members were appointed for their individual expertise. This recommendation does not have the explicit or implicit endorsement of the companies nor organizations with which our members are affiliated. We request that as our Committee's recommendation is distributed for comment, you include this accompanying letter. On behalf of the Committee, we hope you find our recommendations useful. It has been our pleasure to assist the Department in developing this recommended draft for an encryption key recovery standard. Sincerely, Dr. Stephen T. Kent, Chairman