The Venona project was a long-running and highly secret collaboration between intelligence agencies of the United States and United Kingdom that involved the cryptanalysis of messages sent by several intelligence agencies of the Soviet Union, mostly during World War II. An intelligence agency is a governmental agency that is devoted to the Information gathering (known in the context as " intelligence " The United States of America —commonly referred to as the The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located Cryptanalysis (from the Greek kryptós, "hidden" and analýein, "to loosen" or "to untie" is the study of methods for The Soviet Union had a succession of Secret police agencies over the course of its existence The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR was a constitutionally Socialist state that existed in Eurasia from 1922 to 1991 World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including There were known to be at least 13 code words for this effort used by the U. S. and UK. "Venona" was the last one used. It has no known meaning. (In the decrypted documents issued from the National Security Agency, 'VENONA' is written in full capitals; authors writing on the subject generally capitalize only the first letter. The National Security Agency/ Central Security Service ( NSA/CSS) is a cryptologic intelligence agency of the United States government )
In the early years of the Cold War, Venona would be an important source of information on Soviet intelligence activity for the Western powers. Cold War is the state of conflict tension and competition that existed between the United States and the Soviet Union (USSR and their respective allies from the Although unknown to the public, and even to presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman, the closely guarded program was of critical importance behind many famous events of the early Cold War, such as the Rosenberg spying case and the defections of Donald Maclean and Guy Burgess. The President of the United States is the Head of state and Head of government of the United States and is the highest political official in United States by Julius Rosenberg (May 12 1918 &ndash June 19 1953 and Ethel Greenglass Rosenberg (September 28 1915 &ndash June 19 1953 were American Communists who were executed Donald Duart Maclean (məˈkleɪn 25 May, 1913 Marylebone, London – 6 March, 1983 Moscow) was a British Guy Francis De Moncy Burgess ( 16 April, 1911 &ndash 30 August, 1963) was a British -born Intelligence officer and
Most of the messages which would later prove to be decipherable were intercepted between 1942 and 1945, and they were decrypted beginning in 1946 and continuing until 1980, when Venona was cancelled.
The Venona Project was initiated in 1943, under orders from the deputy Chief of Military Intelligence (G-2), Carter W. Clarke.  Clarke distrusted Joseph Stalin, and feared that the Soviet Union would sign a separate peace with the Third Reich, allowing Germany to focus its military forces against Great Britain and the United States. Joseph Stalin ( ნამდვილი გვარი ჯუღაშვილი|Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili; March 5 1953 was General Secretary of the Communist Party Nazi Germany and the Third Reich are the common English names for Germany under the regime of Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist German Workers Code-breakers of the U.S. Army's Signal Intelligence Service (commonly called Arlington Hall) analyzed encrypted high-level Soviet diplomatic intelligence message intercepted in large volumes during and immediately after World War II by American, British and Australian listening posts. The United States Army is a military organization whose primary mission is to "provide necessary forces and capabilities. The Signals Intelligence Service (SIS was the United States Army Codebreaking division headquartered at Arlington Hall. Arlington Hall (also called Arlington Hall Station) was the headquarters of the US Army 's Signal Intelligence Service (SIS Cryptography effort World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. 
This traffic, some of which was encrypted with a one-time pad system, was stored and analyzed in relative secrecy by hundreds of cryptanalysts over a 40-year period starting in the early 1940s. In Cryptography, the one-time pad (OTP is an Encryption Algorithm where the Plaintext is combined with a random key or "pad" Due to a serious blunder on the part of the Soviets—reusing pages of some of the one-time pads in other pads, which were then used for other messages—some of this traffic was vulnerable to cryptanalysis.
The Soviet systems in general used a code to convert words and letters into numbers, to which additive keys (from one-time pads) were added, encrypting the content. In Communications a code is a rule for converting a piece of Information (for example a letter, Word, Phrase, or In Cryptography, a key is a piece of information (a Parameter) that determines the functional output of a cryptographic algorithm When used correctly, one-time pad encryption is provably unbreakable. Cryptanalysis by American and British code-breakers revealed that some of the one-time pad material had incorrectly been reused by the Soviets (specifically, entire pages, although not complete books), which allowed decryption (sometimes only partial) of a small part of the traffic.
Generating the one-time pads was a slow and labor-intensive process, and the outbreak of war with Germany in June 1941 caused a sudden increase in the need for coded messages. It is probable that the Soviet code generators started duplicating cipher pages in order to keep up with demand.
It was Arlington Hall's Lt. Richard Hallock, working on Soviet "Trade" traffic (so called because these messages dealt with Soviet trade issues), who first discovered that the Soviets were reusing pages. Hallock and his colleagues (including Genevieve Feinstein, Cecil Phillips, Frank Lewis, Frank Wanat, and Lucille Campbell) went on to break into a significant amount of Trade traffic, recovering many one-time pad additive key tables in the process.
A young Meredith Gardner then used this material to break in to what turned out to be NKVD (and later GRU) traffic, by reconstructing the code used to convert text to numbers. Meredith Knox Gardner (1912&ndash August 9, 2002) was an American linguist and Codebreaker, who pulled off one of the greatest U The NKVD ( НКВД, ru Народный Комиссариат Внутренних Дел ''Narodnyy Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del'') or People's Commissariat GRU is the English transliteration of the Russian Acronym ГРУ, which stands for "Гла́вное Разве́дывательное Samuel Chew and Cecil Phillips also made valuable contributions. On 20 December 1946, Gardner made the first break into the code, revealing the existence of Soviet espionage in the Manhattan Project. Events 69 - Vespasian, formerly a general under Nero, enters Rome to claim the title of Emperor. Year 1946 ( MCMXLVI) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full 1946 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The World War II Manhattan Project developed the first Nuclear weapon (atomic bomb  Venona messages also indicated that Soviet spies worked in Washington in the State Department, Treasury, Office of Strategic Services, and even the White House. The United States Department of the Treasury is a Cabinet department and the Treasury of the United States government. The Office of Strategic Services ( OSS) was a United States intelligence agency formed during World War II. See also Executive Office of the President of the United States The White House, formerly known as the Executive Mansion, is the Official residence Very slowly, using assorted techniques ranging from traffic analysis to defector information, more of the messages were decrypted. In Politics, a defector is a person who gives up allegiance to one state or political entity in exchange for allegiance to another
Claims have been made that information from physical theft of code books (a partially burned one was recovered by the Finns) to bugging embassy rooms in which text was entered into encrypting devices (analyzing the keystrokes by listening to them being punched in), contributed to recovering much of the plaintext. These latter claims are less than fully supported in the open literature.
One significant aid (mentioned by the NSA) in the early stages may have been work done in cooperation between the Japanese and Finnish cryptanalysis organizations; when the Americans broke into Japanese codes during World War II, they gained access to this information. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Japan topics. Finland, officially the Republic of Finland ( is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of northern Europe. There are also reports that copies of signals purloined from Soviet offices by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were helpful in the cryptanalysis.
The NSA reported that, according to the serial numbers of the Venona cables, thousands were sent, but only a fraction were available to the cryptanalysts. Approximately 2,200 of the messages were decrypted and translated; some 50 percent of the 1943 GRU-Naval Washington to Moscow messages were broken, but none for any other year, although several thousand were sent between 1941 and 1945. The decryption rate of the NKVD cables was:
Out of some hundreds of thousands of intercepted encrypted texts, it is claimed that under 3,000 have been partially or wholly decrypted. All of the duplicate one-time pad pages were produced in 1942, and almost all of them had been used by the end of 1945, with a few being used as late as 1948. After this, Soviet message traffic reverted to completely unreadable. 
The existence of Venona decryptions became known to the Soviets within a few years of the first breaks. It is not clear whether the Soviets knew how much of the message traffic, or which messages, had been successfully decrypted. At least one Soviet penetration agent, British Secret Intelligence Service Representative to the U. The Secret Intelligence Service ( SIS) colloquially known as MI6 is the United Kingdom 's external Intelligence agency. S. , Kim Philby, was told about the project in 1949, as part of his job as liaison between British and U. Harold Adrian Russell "Kim" Philby or HAR Philby ( OBE: 1946-1965 ( 1 January, 1912 – 11 May, 1988) S. intelligence. Since all of the duplicate one-time pad pages had been used by this time, the Soviets apparently did not make any changes to their cryptographic procedures after they learned of Venona. However, this information did allow them to alert those of their agents who might be at risk of exposure due to the decryptions.
The decrypted messages gave important insights into Soviet behavior in the period during which duplicate one-time pads were used. With the first break into the code, Venona revealed the existence of Soviet espionage at Los Alamos National Laboratories. Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL (previously known at various times as Site Y, Los Alamos Laboratory, and Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory) is a  Identities soon emerged of American, Canadian, Australian, and British spies in service to the Soviet government, including Klaus Fuchs, Alan Nunn May and Donald Maclean, a member of the Cambridge Five spy ring. Country to "Dominion of Canada" or "Canadian Federation" or anything else please read the Talk Page For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. Klaus Emil Julius Fuchs ( December 29, 1911 &ndash January 28, 1988) was a German -born theoretical physicist and Alan Nunn May ( 2 May 1911 – 12 January 2003) was a British physicist and a confessed and convicted Soviet Donald Duart Maclean (məˈkleɪn 25 May, 1913 Marylebone, London – 6 March, 1983 Moscow) was a British The Cambridge Five (also sometimes known as the Cambridge four) was a ring of Soviet spies in the UK who passed information to the Soviet Others worked in Washington in the State Department, Treasury, Office of Strategic Services, and even the White House.
The decrypts show that the U. S. and other nations were targeted in major espionage campaigns by the Soviet Union as early as 1942. Among those identified are Julius and Ethel Rosenberg; Alger Hiss; Harry Dexter White, the second-highest official in the Treasury Department; Lauchlin Currie, a personal aide to Franklin Roosevelt; and Maurice Halperin, a section head in the Office of Strategic Services. Julius Rosenberg (May 12 1918 &ndash June 19 1953 and Ethel Greenglass Rosenberg (September 28 1915 &ndash June 19 1953 were American Communists who were executed Alger Hiss (November 11 1904 – November 15 1996 was a US State Department official involved in the establishment of the United Nations. Harry Dexter White ( October 9, 1892 &ndash August 16, 1948) was an American economist and senior U Lauchlin Bernard Currie ( October 8, 1902 – December 23, 1993) was a Canadian -born Economist from New Dublin Maurice Hyman Halperin ( March 3, 1906 &ndash February 9, 1995) was an American Writer, Professor,
The identification of individuals mentioned in Venona transcripts is sometimes problematic, since people with a "covert relationship" with Soviet intelligence are referenced by code names.  Further complicating matters is the fact that the same person sometimes had different code names at different times, and the same code name was sometimes reused for different individuals. In some cases, notably that of Alger Hiss, the matching of a Venona code name to an individual is disputed. In many other cases, a Venona code name has not yet been linked to any person. According to authors John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, the Venona transcripts identify approximately 349 Americans who they claim had a covert relationship with Soviet intelligence, though less than half of these have been matched to real-name identities. John Earl Haynes is an American Historian who is a specialist in 20th century Political history in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress; he Harvey E Klehr (born December 25, 1945) is a Professor of Politics and History at Emory University; he is known for his 
The Office of Strategic Services, the predecessor to the CIA, housed at one time or another between fifteen and twenty Soviet spies. The Office of Strategic Services ( OSS) was a United States intelligence agency formed during World War II. near as long as it used to be several months ago It has been actively summarized and split into sub-articles and there is a dynamic talk page discussion of all  Duncan Lee, Donald Wheeler, Jane Foster Zlatowski, and Maurice Halperin passed information to Moscow. Lt Col Duncan Chaplin Lee (died 1996 was confidential assistant to Maj Donald Niven Wheeler ( October 23, 1913 - November 8, 2002) was an accused Soviet spy For the Marvel Comics character see Jane Foster (comics. Jane Foster Zlatovski, also Jane Foster Zlatkowski, engaged with her husband Maurice Hyman Halperin ( March 3, 1906 &ndash February 9, 1995) was an American Writer, Professor, The War Production Board, the Board of Economic Warfare, the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs and the Office of War Information, included at least half a dozen Soviet sources each among their employees. The War Production Board ( WPB) was established as a government agency on January 16 1942 by executive order of Franklin D The Office of Administrator of Export Control was established in the United States by Presidential Proclamation 2413 July 2 1940, to administer export licensing provisions of The United States government 's Office of Inter-American Affairs or Office for Coordination of Commercial and Cultural Relations between the American Republics The United States Office of War Information (OWI was a US government agency created during World War II to consolidate government information services In the opinion of some, almost every American military and diplomatic agency of any importance was compromised to some extent by Soviet espionage. 
Some scholars and journalists dispute the claims by Haynes, Klehr, and others concerning the precision of the matching of code names to actual persons. Also contested is the implication that all 349 persons identified had a witting covert relationship with Soviet intelligence; it is argued that in some cases the individual may have been an unwitting information source or a prospect for future recruitment by Soviet intelligence. See "Critical views" below.
Venona has added information—some of it unequivocal, some of it ambiguous—to several espionage cases. Some known spies, including Theodore Hall, were neither prosecuted nor publicly implicated, because the Venona evidence against them was not made public. Theodore Alvin Hall ( October 20, 1925  &ndash November 1, 1999) was an American Physicist and an atomic
Venona has added significant information to the case of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, making it clear that Julius was guilty of espionage, but also showing that Ethel was probably no more than an accomplice, if that. Julius Rosenberg (May 12 1918 &ndash June 19 1953 and Ethel Greenglass Rosenberg (September 28 1915 &ndash June 19 1953 were American Communists who were executed Additionally, Venona and other recent information has shown that while the content of Julius' atomic espionage was not as vital as was alleged at the time of his espionage activities, in other fields it was extensive. The information Rosenberg passed to the Soviets concerned the proximity fuze, design and production information on the Lockheed P-80 jet fighter, and thousands of classified reports from Emerson Radio. A proximity fuze (also called a VT fuze for "variable time" is a fuze that is designed to detonate an explosive device automatically when the distance WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout Emerson Radio Corporation ( was founded in 1948 It is one of the United States ’ largest volume Consumer electronics distributors and has a recognized The Venona evidence indicates that it was unidentified sources codenamed "Quantum" and "Pers" who facilitated transfer of nuclear weapons technology to the Soviet Union from positions within the Manhattan Project.
According to the Moynihan Commission on Government Secrecy, the complicity of both Alger Hiss and Harry Dexter White is settled by Venona. Alger Hiss (November 11 1904 – November 15 1996 was a US State Department official involved in the establishment of the United Nations. Harry Dexter White ( October 9, 1892 &ndash August 16, 1948) was an American economist and senior U Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy, also called the Moynihan Secrecy Commission, was a Bipartisan Statutory commission in the Alger Hiss (November 11 1904 – November 15 1996 was a US State Department official involved in the establishment of the United Nations. Harry Dexter White ( October 9, 1892 &ndash August 16, 1948) was an American economist and senior U  In his 1998 book, Senator Moynihan expresses certainty about Hiss's identification by Venona as a Soviet spy, writing "Hiss was indeed a Soviet agent and appears to have been regarded by Moscow as its most important. For the US Representative from Illinois see P H Moynihan Daniel Patrick “Pat” Moynihan ( March 16, 1927 – March 26, " However, some current authors consider the Venona evidence on Hiss to be inconclusive. 
When Kim Philby learned of Venona in 1949, he obtained advance warning that his fellow Soviet spies Donald Maclean and Guy Burgess were in danger of being exposed. Harold Adrian Russell "Kim" Philby or HAR Philby ( OBE: 1946-1965 ( 1 January, 1912 – 11 May, 1988) Donald Duart Maclean (məˈkleɪn 25 May, 1913 Marylebone, London – 6 March, 1983 Moscow) was a British Guy Francis De Moncy Burgess ( 16 April, 1911 &ndash 30 August, 1963) was a British -born Intelligence officer and The FBI told Philby about an agent code named Homer, whose 1945 message to Moscow had been decoded. As it had been sent from New York and had its origins in the British Embassy in Washington, Philby deduced that the sender was Donald Maclean, now resident in London (Philby had not known Maclean's code name). By early 1951, Philby knew that US Intelligence would soon also conclude that Maclean was the sender, and he advised that Maclean be called in. This led to Maclean and Guy Burgess' famous flight to Russia in May, 1951. 
In addition to the British and Americans, Venona intercepts were collected by the Australians at a remote base in the Australian Outback. Outback or the Outback refers to remote arid areas of Australia, although the term colloquially can refer to any lands outside of the main Urban areas However, the Russians were not aware of this base even as late as 1950.  The founding of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation by Labor Prime Minister Ben Chifley was considered highly controversial within Chifley's own party. This article is about the government position For other uses see Prime Minister (disambiguation. Joseph Benedict Chifley (22 September 1885 &ndash 13 June 1951 Australian politician and 16th Prime Minister of Australia, was one of Australia's most influential Prime Ministers Until then, the left-leaning Australian Labor Party had been hostile to domestic intelligence agencies on civil liberties grounds, and a Labor government actually founding one was a surprising about face. thumb| |Broken Liberty Istanbul Archaeology Museum Civil liberties are freedoms that protect the Individual from the Government. Venona material has now made it clear that Chifley was motivated by evidence that Soviet agents were operating in Australia. Investigation had revealed that Wally Clayton (codenamed KLOD), a Soviet agent within the Communist Party of Australia, was forming an underground network within the CPA so that the party could continue to operate if it was banned. A code name or cryptonym is a word or name used clandestinely to refer to another name or word This article is about the historical Communist Party of Australia dissolved in 1991
On February 1, 1956, Alan H. Events 1327 - Teenaged Edward III is crowned King of England, but the country is ruled by his mother Queen Year 1956 ( MCMLVI) was a Leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Belmont prepared an FBI memorandum on the significance of the Venona project and the prospects of using decryptions in prosecution. It considered that, although decryptions might corroborate the testimony of Elizabeth Bentley and enable successful prosecution of such suspects as Judith Coplon and the Perlo and Silvermaster groups, a careful study of all factors compelled the conclusion it would not be in the best interests of the United States to use Venona project information for prosecution. Elizabeth Terrill Bentley ( January 1 1908 &ndash December 3 1963) was an American spy for the Soviet Union Judith Coplon (born 1922 was one of the first major figures tried in the United States for spying for the Soviet Union; problems in her trials had a profound Headed by Victor Perlo, the Perlo group is the name given to a group of Americans who provided information which was given to Soviet Intelligence The FBI’s Silvermaster file is a 162-volume compendium of some 26000 pages of documents relating to the Bureau’s investigation of Communist penetration of the Federal government during 
The Memo gives a number of reasons why it was uncertain whether or not the Venona project information should be revealed and admitted into evidence.
A major hurdle was a question of law. A defense attorney might immediately move to dismiss the evidence as hearsay, since neither the Soviet official who sent the message, nor the one who received it was available to testify. The FBI reasoned that decrypts probably could have been introduced, on an exception to the hearsay rule, based on the expert testimony of cryptographers.
In addition, according to Belmont, "the fragmentary nature of the messages and the extensive use of cover names therein make positive identification of the subjects difficult. " Once an individual had been considered for recruitment as an agent by the Soviets, sufficient background data on him was sent to Moscow. Cover names were used not only for Soviet agents but other people as well. President Roosevelt, for example, was called "Kapitan" (Captain), and Los Alamos the "Reservation". Cover names also were frequently changed, and a cover name might actually apply to two different people, depending on the date it was used. Several subjects, notably Alger Hiss, Harry Dexter White, Maurice Halperin, and Lauchlin Currie, denied the accusations in open Congressional Hearings based on information from sources other than Venona. A Congressional subcommittee in the United States Congress is a subdivision of a United States Congressional committee that considers specified matters and reports Assumptions made by cryptographers, questionable interpretations and translations placed reliance upon the expert testimony of cryptographers, and the entire case would be circumstantial.
Defense attorneys also would probably request to examine messages which cryptographers were unsuccessful in breaking and not in evidence, on the belief that such messages, if decoded, could exonerate their clients. The FBI determined that this would lead to the exposure of Government techniques and practices in the cryptography field to unauthorized persons, compromise the Government's efforts in communications intelligence, and hinder other pending investigations.
Before any messages could be used in court they would have to be declassified. Approval would have to come from several layers of bureaucracy, and probably the President, as well as notification to British counterparts working on the same problem. In an election year, the Bureau feared it would be caught between two sides of a venomous political dispute.
For much of its history, knowledge of Venona was restricted even from the highest levels of government. Senior Army officers, in consultation with the FBI and CIA made the decision to restrict knowledge of Venona within the government (even the CIA was not made an active partner until 1952). Army Chief of Staff Omar Bradley, concerned about the White House's history of leaking sensitive information, decided to deny President Truman direct knowledge of the project. Omar Nelson Bradley KCB ( February 12, 1893 &ndash April 8, 1981) was one of the main U The president received the substance of the material only through FBI, Justice Department and CIA reports on counterintelligence and intelligence matters. He was not told the material came from decoded Soviet ciphers. To some degree this secrecy was counter-productive; Truman was distrustful of FBI head J. Edgar Hoover, and suspected the reports were exaggerated for political purposes. WikipediaManual of Style (biographies#Postnominal initials
Some of the earliest detailed public knowledge that Soviet code messages from WWII had been broken came with the release of Robert Lamphere's book, The FBI-KGB War, in 1986. Lamphere had been the FBI liaison to the code-breaking activity, had considerable knowledge of Venona and the counter-intelligence work that resulted from it. This article is a subset article of Intelligence cycle security.
Many inside the NSA had argued internally that the time had come to publicly release the details of the Venona project, but it was not until 1995 that the bipartisan Commission on Government Secrecy, with Senator Moynihan as chairman, released the Venona project materials. In a Two-party system (such as in the United States) bipartisan refers to any bill, act, resolution, or any other action of a Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy, also called the Moynihan Secrecy Commission, was a Bipartisan Statutory commission in the For the US Representative from Illinois see P H Moynihan Daniel Patrick “Pat” Moynihan ( March 16, 1927 – March 26, Moynihan wrote:
"[The] secrecy system has systematically denied American historians access to the records of American history. Of late we find ourselves relying on archives of the former Soviet Union in Moscow to resolve questions of what was going on in Washington at mid-century. Moscow (Москва́ romanised: Moskvá, IPA: see also other names) is the Capital and the largest city of [. . . ] the Venona intercepts contained overwhelming proof of the activities of Soviet spy networks in America, complete with names, dates, places, and deeds. "
One of the considerations in releasing Venona translations was the privacy interests of the individuals mentioned, referenced, or identified in the translations. Some names were not released because to do so would constitute an invasion of privacy.  However, in at least one case, independent researchers identified one of the subjects whose name had been obscured by the NSA.
The dearth of reliable information available to the public—or even to the President and Congress—may have helped to polarize debates of the 1950s over the extent and danger of Soviet espionage in the United States. Anti-Communists suspected that many spies remained at large, perhaps including some that were known to the government. Anti-communism refers to opposition to Communism. Historically the word "communism" has been used to refer to several types of communal social organization and Those who criticized the governmental and non-governmental efforts to root out and expose communists felt that these efforts were an overreaction (in addition to other reservations about McCarthyism). Communism is a Socioeconomic structure that promotes the establishment of an egalitarian, classless, stateless Society based McCarthyism is a term describing the intense anti-communist suspicion in the United States in a period that lasted roughly from the late 1940s to the late 1950s Public access—or broader governmental access—to the Venona evidence would certainly have affected this debate, as it is affecting the retrospective debate among historians and others now. As the Moynihan Commission wrote in its final report:
"A balanced history of this period is now beginning to appear; the Venona messages will surely supply a great cache of facts to bring the matter to some closure. But at the time, the American Government, much less the American public, was confronted with possibilities and charges, at once baffling and terrifying. "
Although widely accepted by historians and academics, the relevance, accuracy, and even the authenticity of Venona decrypts have been questioned by some. Many critics of the released Venona papers claim the material to be unverifiable, with some, such as William Kunstler, going so far as to claim that the NSA had forged Venona material in its entirety in order to discredit the reputation of the Communist Party of the United States of America and its members. William Moses Kunstler ( July 7, 1919 - September 4, 1995) was an American self-described "radical lawyer" and Civil rights The Communist Party of the United States of America ( CPUSA) is a Marxist-Leninist Political party in the United States.  Research in Soviet Archives has added to the corroboration of some Venona material, including the identities of many codenamed individuals. 
Some remain skeptical of both the substance and the prevailing interpretations made since the release of the Venona material. Victor Navasky, editor and publisher of The Nation, has written several editorials highly critical of John Earl Haynes' and Harvey Klehr's interpretation of recent work on the subject of Soviet espionage. Victor S Navasky (b July 5, 1932) is a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. This article is about the US Publication. For other newspapers magazines and alternate uses by the same name see The Nation (disambiguation. John Earl Haynes is an American Historian who is a specialist in 20th century Political history in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress; he Harvey E Klehr (born December 25, 1945) is a Professor of Politics and History at Emory University; he is known for his Navasky claims that the Venona material is being used to “distort … our understanding of the cold war” and that the files are potential “time bombs of misinformation”.  Commenting on the list of 349 Americans identified by Venona that Haynes and Klehr published in an appendix to Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America (see above), Navasky wrote: "The reader is left with the implication--unfair and unproven--that every name on the list was involved in espionage, and as a result, otherwise careful historians and mainstream journalists now routinely refer to Venona as proof that many hundreds of Americans were part of the red spy network. " Navasky goes further in his defense of the listed people and has claimed that a great deal of the so called espionage that went on was nothing more than “exchanges of information among people of good will” and that “most of these exchanges were innocent and were within the law”. 
According to Ellen Schrecker, "Because they offer insights into the world of the secret police on both sides of the Iron Curtain, it is tempting to treat the FBI and Venona materials less critically than documents from more accessible sources. Ellen Wolf Schrecker, PhD (born August 4, 1938) is a professor of American history at Yeshiva University. The " Iron Curtain " was the symbolic ideological and physical boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas from the end of World War II until the end But there are too many gaps in the record to use these materials with complete confidence. "
Schrecker agrees that the documents have genuinely established the guilt of many prominent figures, but is still critical of the hardline interpretation of the materials by scholars such as Haynes, arguing that ". . . complexity, nuance, and a willingness to see the world in other than black and white seem alien to Haynes' view of history. "
Writing about Alger Hiss, Hiss's lawyer John Lowenthal criticized the accuracy and methodology of the Venona analysts, charging that they employed false premises and flawed comparative logic to reach the desired conclusion that Alger Hiss was the spy "Ales". Lowenthal states this conclusion was psychologically and politically motivated but factually wrong. 
Nigel West on the other hand, expressed confidence in the decrypts: "Venona remain[s] an irrefutable resource, far more reliable than the mercurial recollections of KGB defectors and the dubious conclusions drawn by paranoid analysts mesmerized by Machiavellian plots. Rupert William Simon Allason (born 8 November, 1951) is a military historian and former Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom "