A process to develop a Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) for Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) incorporating an Advanced Encryption Algorithm (AEA) is being initiated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). As the first step in this process, draft minimum acceptability requirements and draft criteria to evaluate candidate algorithms are being published for comment. Also announced for comment are draft submission requirements. An open,public workshop on the draft minimum acceptability requirements, evaluation criteria and submission requirements has also been scheduled. It is intended that the AES will specify an unclassified, publicly disclosed encryption algorithm capable of protecting sensitive government information well into the next century.