Data Security, Critical Infrastructure Security

Required data encryption for NSF sought by lawmakers

StateScoop reports that the National Science Foundation has been urged by Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., to require encryption for data in the new National Secure Data Service to ensure the protection of shared data against foreign threats. NSF should mandate agencies to leverage a key they control for encrypting data submitted to the NSDS to prevent compromise of data in the event of a breach impacting the system, said the lawmakers in a letter sent to NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. Data encryption would also prevent the appearance of any individual's data in an identifiable form in adherence to a CHIPS Act privacy provision, said Wyden and Portman, who added that the absence of a master key in the possession of NSF would also remove a huge target on the agency. The NSF has also been advised to implement multi-party computation instead of data de-identification. "It was important to Congress that Americans be able to trust that their data wont be used for any purpose that hasnt been reviewed by NSF and publicized on the programs website. NSF must use encryption technology to back up that trust with hard technical guarantees," Portman and Wyden wrote.

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