The _NSAKEY was a variable name, which was identified 4.0 1999 Service Pack 5 Windows NT. As explorers applies Andrew Fernandes, specialist of Cryptonym Corporation, Morrisville, North Carolina. A first observation was made but already the British Expert, Nicko van Someren two years earlier.

The Chaos Computer Club moved on 3 September 1999 to state that the key is obviously intended for use by the National Security Agency ( NSA) and can circumvent the protection by encryption method in the CryptoAPI the operating system from Microsoft. The access way goes back on all Microsoft operating systems from Windows 95 onwards

Also in 1999, it was announced that the big software company Lotus has built a back door into his system Notes for the NSA. In a given by the European Parliament commissioned study, among others, the Parisian scientists Franck Leprevost and the German MEP Ilka Schröder worked with ( Alliance 90/The Greens ). Schroeder ruled: " The U.S. giant Microsoft, Netscape, and Lotus are equipping their software for export already such a way that they allow the U.S. intelligence access to e -mails."

Microsoft denied the allegations immediately. The German press reacted with doubt, wrote the PC world on the key: " One thing he is certainly not. Built a back door to listen "