Cost of the War in Iraq
(JavaScript Error)
To see more details, click here.

1/10/06

What is the NSA?

The National Security Agency (NSA) is America's largest intelligence service, even larger than the CIA. More people work for the NSA than work for the CIA. The NSA has a bigger budget and gathers more information than the CIA.

The CIA is much better known, however that is how it's designed. You aren't supposed to know much about the NSA. For a long time, the public wasn't even told that it existed. They used to say that NSA stood for No Such Agency.

Harry Truman started the NSA in 1952. The CIA was created by Congress, The National Security Act of 1947. The CIA however did not do what the NSA was assigned to do, intercepting and reading an enemy's mail, overhearing its private conversations, and cracking its secret codes.

The NSA consolidated all the military intelligence under one General or Admiral, who then reported directly to the Secretary of Defense. It's still done that way.

Although the NSA is military intelligence, they employ thousands of civilians, mostly mathmatics PHDs. They employ more PHDs than anyone else in the public or private sector.

The NSA even has it's own troops called the Central Security Service.

Another difference between the CIA and the NSA is that the CIA is focused on HUMINT, (Human Intelligence) and the NSA is focused on SIGINT (Signals Intelligence)

The NSA maintains a worldwide web of state-of-the-art satellites, listening posts, and intercept stations that capture and record huge volumes of the world's communications, then runs it all through the world's most powerful computers, to look for keywords or patterns that require an analyst's attention.

An unofficial agency motto: "In God we trust. All others we monitor."

Officially, the NSA performs its SIGINT sweeps only "against foreign powers or agents of foreign powers." But that doesn't mean the communications of U.S. citizens aren't sometimes sucked into NSA computers. NSA officials point out that, in today's world, there is no clear and easy distinction between domestic and foreign communications.

"The networks have collapsed into one another," said one official, "and many of our targets are on the same network that we use. It is now just 'the network'--the global telecommunications infrastructure." So, when U.S. citizens do appear in NSA data, analysts withhold their names from intelligence reports. But the information remains in the files, and there are exceptions that allow for its release.

That doesn't excuse them from breaking the law. If their systems cannot avoid eavesdropping on American Citizens without a warrant, then they cannot use the system. If you know driving your car without up-to-date plates and registration is illegal, then you drive the car anyway, you are knowingly breaking the law. That applies to the NSA just as it does to you or me.

Even if you disagree with the analogy and believe the NSA when they say that spying on American Citizens was inadvertant and not intentional, then tell me why they are then not allowed to inform someone that they were mistakenly spied on?

The patriot act says they don't have to inform you about the search they have just done on your house, email, phones, etc. They can do it without a warrant and it's illegal for anyone to tell you it's been done.

The NSA was not created by the Patriot Act, yet, when they make one of their "mistakes" and "accidentally" spy on an American Citizen, they then use that law so they do not have to inform you that they accidentally spied on you.

If you think all that is okay and necessary then you just don't get it. Wasn't it Ben Franklin who said "He who is willing to give up freedom for a little security, deserves neither freedom or security."?

More things that just piss me off

Some information provided by Knowledge News

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Powered by Blogger