Reuters reported that academic and industry experts from Germany, Japan and Israel were concerned that the NSA was pushing the new algorithms, known as SIMON and SPECK, not because they were superior to others, but because the NSA knew how to break them.
Specifications for SIMON and SPECK were published by the NSA in June 2013.
"The aim of SIMON and SPECK is to fill the need for secure, flexible, and analysable lightweight block ciphers," the NSA wrote in the abstract describing the specification.
"Both perform exceptionally well across the full spectrum of lightweight applications, but SIMON is tuned for optimal performance in hardware, and SPECK for optimal performance in software."
Reuters said the NSA had now agreed to adopt only the strongest versions of these techniques which are least likely to be vulnerable to hacks.
It said the debate over the algorithms had taken place in closed-door meetings around the world over the last three years. The International Organisation for Standardisation is the body that approves any new algorithms as a standard.
While there are NSA officials on the American delegation to the ISO, the team is controlled by the American National Standards Institute.
Reuters said it had seen emails sent by delegates from different countries in which distrust was voiced about the NSA, much of which stemmed from the 2013 revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden about the extent of surveillance being carried out by the American agency.
More than a dozen of the delegates were fearful that if SIMON and SPECK were adopted as standards, then the NSA would have a backdoor into encrypted communications.
An Israeli delegate Orr Dunkelman told Reuters that he did not trust the designers.
Dunkelman, a computer science professor at the University of Haifa, said, citing Snowden’s papers, “There are quite a lot of people in NSA who think their job is to subvert standards. My job is to secure standards."