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WASHINGTON — At least eight researchers or policy experts have withdrawn from an Internet security conference after the sponsor reportedly used flawed encryption technology deliberately in commercial software to allow the National Security Agency to spy more easily on computer users.
RSA Security, owned by data storage giant EMC Corp. of Hopkinton Mass., has disputed claims it intentionally introduced the flawed encryption algorithm, but otherwise has declined to discuss what a published report last month described as a $10 million government contract.
The revelation supplemented documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden showing that the NSA tried to weaken Internet encryption.
The pullouts from the highly regarded RSA Conference represent early blowback by technology researchers and policy experts who have complained that the government’s surveillance efforts have, in some cases, weakened Internet security even for innocent users.