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The Nation

The National Security Agency and a research arm of the Commerce Department have reached an agreement aimed at strengthening protection of sensitive information handled by thousands of federal government computers. The memorandum of understanding was signed late last week by the NSA’s director, Vice Adm. W. O. Studeman, and Raymond G. Kammer, acting director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Kammer said the agreement “provides a structure for discussions between NSA and us if there are issues that arise where there is a conflict between a classified or national security issue and regular civilian data issues.” The effort has been spurred by concern over so-called computer viruses, computer code that can be inserted into software programs to cause computers to malfunction by clogging memory, destroying or altering data.


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