American Elephants

The National Security Agency: Cryptoanalysis Is What They Do by The Elephant's Child

Don’t you people read thrillers? The NSA. the National Security Agency ( I’m quoting from Wikipedia here) is a cryptologic intelligence agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the collection and analysis of foreign communications and information systems, which involves information security and cryptanalysis/cryptography.

The NSA is directed by at least a lieutenant-general or vice-admiral. NSA is a key component of the U.S. Intelligence Community, which is headed by the Director of National Intelligence. The Central Security Service is a co-located agency created to coordinate intelligence activities and co-operation between NSA and other U.S. military cryptanalysis agencies. The Director of the National Security Agency serves as the Commander of the United States Cyber Command and Chief of the Central Security Service.

The National Security Agency is divided into two major missions: the Signals Intelligence Directorate (SID), which produces foreign signals intelligence information, and the Information Assurance Directorate (IAD) which protects U.S. information systems.

Surely you know about Bletchley Park and Enigma and Lorenz? Codename Ultra? You have heard of Alan Turing, the father of the computer. How about Magic?

Trying to find patterns in the megadata culled from millions of phone calls, emails and radio messages is what NSA does. Has always done. They really aren’t interested in your illicit phone call to your friend’s husband. If it’s true that agents have logged the phone sex between troops in harm’s way and their wives back home, they need to be disciplined. It’s not their business. If these departments are hiring high school dropouts who have no sense about what is secret and why it is secret, they need to fix their hiring practices.

Again, it is the extraordinary abuse of power demonstrated by IRS intrusion into politics and the written requests of party leaders  to use FBI access to private information for political purposes — including affecting the outcome of the 2012 election, that has cast suspicion on everything done by the federal government. This is pure abuse of power, and those acts destroyed whatever trust existed between American citizens and their government. The senators involved know who they are and their actions should be formally condemned.

Some out there are braying about “secrets,” assuming that we somehow don’t need any secrets. That we shouldn’t be trying to find out the secrets of others, and just mind our own business. The world was never that naive or stupid, fortunately, or we wouldn’t be here today.

2 Comments so far
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AE do you believe what Snowden says about he could get into emails if he had an address or texts if he had a number. Personally i don’t know if i believe it or not. If i do believe it who’s to say some leftist contractor with his little lefties aren’t digging around finding dirt on republican congressmen or up and coming conservatives or a multitude of other organizations and people.I’m not a paranoid person but boy i don’t trust these progressive leftist.


Comment by hey_sherm

I think Snowden is naive and self-important, and ignorant of the intelligence world. Shocked at data-mining, he thinks he is doing something important in being a “whistleblower.” Private Manning had the same delusion. Too much access, too little knowledge. The reporting is dreadful, most are trying to make the ‘scandal’ more than it is. I saw Snowden described with “a chiseled face and slight goatee, looking like an Ivy League professor.” Paraphrased, but puh-leeze!

I am far more troubled by the IRS scandal, where an agency (an agency whose ethics had been presumed to be spotless) has been suborned to attack those who disagree with the administration and prevented, if possible, from having any effect on the upcoming election. Politicizing the revenue-collection agency of the nation is not a minor offense. Americans pay their taxes voluntarily. And try to report their income honestly. Nobody expected IRS agents to be right all the time, nor even intelligent, but we didn’t know they were crooked!

Yes, I think we all worry now about how far they have gone in disseminating IRS information, and how widespread the attitude is through other agencies. Seems like quite a bit.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

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