The question of whether PCSG’s solution for cryptographic research might be applied to research papers in other fields is beyond the scope of this paper. However, since cryptography has a number of characteristics that are unique, these characteristics would have to be taken into account in determining how the solution could be applied elsewhere.
First, the field of cryptography involves only a few dozen researchers—most of whom are working colleagues—and the publication of less than 100 papers per year. Second, the agency with the principal interest in cryptography, the NSA, is both technically competent and mission-oriented. In other words, it is engaged in the direct use of cryptography. Third, the frequency of problem papers—i.e., papers that would interfere with NSA’s mission—is small. These characteristics do not prevail in other areas of science and technology. Hence, it is far more difficult for the government to evaluate the potential impact on national security of any single research paper in other areas of science and technology.