Johns Hopkins University is now aiming to prove it made a mistake in trying to censor a professor’s blog post about the National Security Agency. After a back-and-forth on Monday, the dean of the university’s Whiting School of Engineering wrote an apologetic letter to the professor.
“I write to apologize for any difficulty I caused you yesterday over the post on your blog. I realize now that I acted too quickly, on the basis of inadequate and — as it turns out — incorrect information,” Dean Andrew Douglas wrote. “I requested that you take down the post without adequately checking that information and without first providing you with an opportunity to correct it.”
The whole debacle began after major news stories spread across the Web on Thursday detailing claims that the NSA has been setting up a clandestine program to break digital encryptions for everything from users’ smartphones to everyday e-mails to medical records.
Professor Matthew Green, who is a well-known cryptographer and research professor at Johns Hopkins, penned a blog post about the NSA’s alleged capabilities to defeat encryption on that same day — it was published both on his personal Google Blogger site and the university’s mirror site. On Monday, Green was asked by Hopkins to take down the mirror site’s post because it allegedly linked to classified NSA documents.