THE SUPER-SECRET NSA
The NSA was created in 1952, and it conducts research into all forms of electronic transmissions. It performs global monitoring, collection, and processing of information and data for foreign and domestic intelligence, and for counterintelligence purposes, a discipline known as signals intelligence (SIGINT).
Its existence was denied until 1975, and employees would refer to the NSA as “No Such Agency” when asked about it at social gatherings. It is a cryptologic intelligence agency administered by the Department of Defense, and it often gets into trouble with freedom-loving Americans due to its mission to collect and analyze foreign communications, not domestic.
However, it is also responsible for protecting U.S. government communications and information systems from foreign spy agencies and hackers, which involves cryptography. In short, domestically, it monitors U.S. federal agency computer networks to protect them against such attacks.
It does not perform field or human intelligence (HUMINT) activities like the CIA does and its intelligence gathering activities are limited to foreign communications, although there have been reports that the agency does not always abide by these laws.
The NSA will probably spy on foreign leaders like it did with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during the UN General Assembly in New York a few years ago. Yeah, I know, that’s inside the U.S., but I don’t care. Expect an NSA “full court press” of spying on unfriendly foreign leaders, wherever they may be, and that includes intercepting their cellphone calls and bugging their hotel rooms.
Sorry, Edward Snowden, but I believe the National Security Agency (NSA) spies FOR us, not ON us. Here are 6 interesting facts about the super-secret agency:
· The NSA produces the most intelligence of all the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies.
· Around 21,000 people are employed by the NSA.
· 2013 records reveal the NSA gathered five billion cellphone location records in a single day.
· The NSA can keep records on Americans for up to 5 years.
· Since 2015, the NSA has lost several hundred hackers, engineers, and data scientists- they left to work for defense contractors and Silicon Valley tech start-ups.
· The NSA admits there have been “rare cases” of breaking agency protocols- some employees had spied on their love interests.
In the MISSION OF VENGEANCE spy thriller, the NSA does special work for the CIA. Here is a snippet:
Stacey sat at her supercomputer in the bowels of the National Security Agency headquarters at Fort Meade. The parrot tie clasp flash drive arrived an hour ago. CBIF’s High-Speed Transport airlines flew it nonstop from the Dominican Republic to “The Farm,” where two armed couriers took over and delivered it to her.
She was a CBIF mole placed inside the NSA and her mission was to drop everything she was currently working on and crack through the password. General Morrison contacted her, announcing the OT Level, meaning the president of the United States was involved.
Both the NSA and its British counterpart, the GCHQ, inserted secret “back doors” into software and flash drives of many tech companies. Unfortunately, she found no back door here. Passwords can also be digitally scrambled and this one probably was. She would use the NSA’s Brute Force computer algorithm to find the password.
End of Snippet
Lastly, enjoy the video NSA OVERVIEW, for a neat description of its SIGINT operations:
Robert Morton is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO), enjoys writing about the U.S. Intelligence Community, and relishes traveling to the Florida Keys and Key West, the Bahamas and Caribbean. He combines both passions in his Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster series. Check out his latest spy thriller: MISSION OF VENGEANCE