72 Facts About NSA


The NSA is responsible for global monitoring, collection, and processing of information and data for foreign and domestic intelligence and counterintelligence purposes, specializing in a discipline known as signals intelligence .

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The NSA is tasked with the protection of U S communications networks and information systems.

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The NSA relies on a variety of measures to accomplish its mission, the majority of which are clandestine.

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The NSA currently conducts worldwide mass data collection and has been known to physically bug electronic systems as one method to this end.

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The NSA is alleged to have been behind such attack software as Stuxnet, which severely damaged Iran's nuclear program.

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The NSA is entrusted with providing assistance to, and the coordination of, SIGINT elements for other government organizations – which are prevented by law from engaging in such activities on their own.

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NSA's actions have been a matter of political controversy on several occasions, including its spying on anti–Vietnam War leaders and the agency's participation in economic espionage.

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In 2013, the NSA had many of its secret surveillance programs revealed to the public by Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor.

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However, the project turned out to be controversial, and an internal review by the NSA concluded that its Minaret program was "disreputable if not outright illegal".

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NSA mounted a major effort to secure tactical communications among U S forces during the war with mixed success.

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The NSA tracked these individuals in a secret filing system that was destroyed in 1974.

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In 1986, the NSA intercepted the communications of the Libyan government during the immediate aftermath of the Berlin discotheque bombing.

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The White House asserted that the NSA interception had provided "irrefutable" evidence that Libya was behind the bombing, which U S President Ronald Reagan cited as a justification for the 1986 United States bombing of Libya.

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That year, the NSA founded the NSA Hall of Honor, a memorial at the National Cryptologic Museum in Fort Meade, Maryland.

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NSA's infrastructure deteriorated in the 1990s as defense budget cuts resulted in maintenance deferrals.

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Some NSA whistleblowers complained internally about major problems surrounding Trailblazer.

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Massive extent of the NSA's spying, both foreign and domestic, was revealed to the public in a series of detailed disclosures of internal NSA documents beginning in June 2013.

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Part of NSA's mission is to serve as a combat support agency for the Department of Defense.

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The NSA has spied extensively on the European Union, the United Nations and numerous governments including allies and trading partners in Europe, South America and Asia.

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In July 2015, WikiLeaks published documents showing that NSA spied on federal German ministries since the 1990s.

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In 2013, reporters uncovered a secret memo that claims the NSA created and pushed for the adoption of the Dual EC DRBG encryption standard that contained built-in vulnerabilities in 2006 to the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the International Organization for Standardization .

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NSA had given the right answer, everybody understood that the NSA had approached him.

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In 1997, Lotus negotiated an agreement with the NSA that allowed the export of a version that supported stronger keys with 64 bits, but 24 of the bits were encrypted with a special key and included in the message to provide a "workload reduction factor" for the NSA.

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Document included in NSA files released with Glenn Greenwald's book No Place to Hide details how the agency's Tailored Access Operations and other NSA units gain access to hardware.

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NSA has declared that it relies on the FBI to collect information on foreign intelligence activities within the borders of the United States, while confining its own activities within the United States to the embassies and missions of foreign nations.

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NSA relayed telephone conversations obtained from ground, airborne, and satellite monitoring stations to various U S Army Signal Intelligence Officers, including the 201st Military Intelligence Battalion.

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However, this claim has been debunked and no evidence has been presented demonstrating that the NSA has ever been instrumental in preventing a terrorist attack.

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Besides the more traditional ways of eavesdropping in order to collect signals intelligence, NSA is engaged in hacking computers, smartphones and their networks.

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NSA is led by the Director of the National Security Agency, who serves as Chief of the Central Security Service and Commander of the United States Cyber Command and is the highest-ranking military official of these organizations.

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NSA has an Inspector General, head of the Office of the Inspector General, a General Counsel, head of the Office of the General Counsel and a Director of Compliance, who is head of the Office of the Director of Compliance .

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Unlike other intelligence organizations such as the CIA or DIA, NSA has always been particularly reticent concerning its internal organizational structure.

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The chiefs of other main NSA divisions became associate directors of the senior leadership team.

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NSA Police have use of a K9 division, which generally conducts explosive detection screening of mail, vehicles and cargo entering NSA grounds.

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NSA received criticism early on in 1960 after two agents had defected to the Soviet Union.

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The NSA conducts five-year periodic reinvestigation polygraphs of employees, focusing on counterintelligence programs.

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NSA workers referred to the building as the "Headquarters Building" and since the NSA management occupied the top floor, workers used "Ninth Floor" to refer to their leaders.

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NSA is the largest employer in the state of Maryland, and two-thirds of its personnel work at Fort Meade.

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The NSA headquarters includes a cafeteria, a credit union, ticket counters for airlines and entertainment, a barbershop, and a bank.

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NSA headquarters has its own post office, fire department, and police force.

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The NSA maintains a shuttle service from the Odenton station of MARC to its Visitor Control Center and has done so since 2005.

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NSA decided to move some of its operations to a new satellite facility.

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In 2007, as BGE's largest customer, NSA bought as much electricity as Annapolis, the capital city of Maryland.

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In 1995, The Baltimore Sun reported that the NSA is the owner of the single largest group of supercomputers.

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NSA held a groundbreaking ceremony at Fort Meade in May 2013 for its High Performance Computing Center 2, expected to open in 2016.

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NSA had installations in several U S states and from them observed intercepts from Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

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In 2009, to protect its assets and access more electricity, NSA sought to decentralize and expand its existing facilities in Fort Meade and Menwith Hill, the latter expansion expected to be completed by 2015.

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In 2004, NSA closed its operations at Bad Aibling Station in Bad Aibling, Germany.

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In 2012, NSA began to move some of its operations at Yakima Research Station, Yakima Training Center, in Washington state to Colorado, planning to leave Yakima closed.

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NSA operates RAF Menwith Hill in North Yorkshire, United Kingdom, which was, according to BBC News in 2007, the largest electronic monitoring station in the world.

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In 2013, a new Consolidated Intelligence Center, to be used by NSA, is being built at the headquarters of the United States Army Europe in Wiesbaden, Germany.

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NSA has been involved in debates about public policy, both indirectly as a behind-the-scenes adviser to other departments, and directly during and after Vice Admiral Bobby Ray Inman's directorship.

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NSA was a major player in the debates of the 1990s regarding the export of cryptography in the United States.

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For 50 years, NSA designed and built most of its computer equipment in-house, but from the 1990s until about 2003, the agency contracted with the private sector in the fields of research and equipment.

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NSA was embroiled in some controversy concerning its involvement in the creation of the Data Encryption Standard, a standard and public block cipher algorithm used by the U S government and banking community.

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Involvement of NSA in selecting a successor to Data Encryption Standard, the Advanced Encryption Standard, was limited to hardware performance testing .

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NSA has subsequently certified AES for protection of classified information when used in NSA-approved systems.

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NSA is responsible for the encryption-related components in these legacy systems:.

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NSA oversees encryption in the following systems that are in use today:.

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NSA has specified Suite A and Suite B cryptographic algorithm suites to be used in U S government systems; the Suite B algorithms are a subset of those previously specified by NIST and are expected to serve for most information protection purposes, while the Suite A algorithms are secret and are intended for especially high levels of protection.

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NSA promoted the inclusion of a random number generator called Dual EC DRBG in the U S National Institute of Standards and Technology's 2007 guidelines.

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NSA has the ability to file for a patent from the U S Patent and Trademark Office under gag order.

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One of NSA's published patents describes a method of geographically locating an individual computer site in an Internet-like network, based on the latency of multiple network connections.

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The current NSA insignia has been in use since 1965, when then-Director, LTG Marshall S Carter ordered the creation of a device to represent the agency.

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Crews associated with NSA missions have been involved in a number of dangerous and deadly situations.

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The USA Freedom Act forbids the NSA to collect metadata and content of phone calls unless it has a warrant for terrorism investigation.

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Under the Upstream collection program, the NSA paid telecommunications companies hundreds of millions of dollars in order to collect data from them.

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The NSA has been reported to have access to all communications made via Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, YouTube, AOL, Skype, Apple and Paltalk, and collects hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal email and instant messaging accounts each year.

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The United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the secret court charged with regulating the NSA's activities is, according to its chief judge, incapable of investigating or verifying how often the NSA breaks even its own secret rules.

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NSA has "generally disregarded the special rules for disseminating United States person information" by illegally sharing its intercepts with other law enforcement agencies.

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An exploit dubbed EternalBlue, created by the NSA, was used in the unprecedented worldwide WannaCry ransomware attack in May 2017.

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Edward Snowden said that if the NSA had "privately disclosed the flaw used to attack hospitals when they found it, not when they lost it, [the attack] might not have happened".

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NSA quit the company after learning his team had hacked Qatari Sheikha Moza bint Nasser's email exchanges with Michelle Obama, just prior to her visit to Doha.

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