NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY

2000

Materials presented in chronological order.

Pincus, Walter. "NSA System Inoperative for Four Days." Washington Post, 30 Jan. 2000, A2. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

From the evening of 24 January through early 28 January 2000, "the main computers of the National Security Agency failed, causing an unprecedented blackout of information [at NSA's processing facility] at Fort Meade," officials said on 29 January. "Most of the data that were not processed were stored, and that backlog is now being worked on to see what may have been missed.... 'There was a significant loss of processing, but collection continued unaffected,' [a] senior intelligence official said. 'We may have lost timeliness, but we have not lost intelligence.'"

Pincus, Walter. "NSA System Crash Raises Hill Worries: Agency Computers Termed Out of Date." Washington Post, 2 Feb. 2000, A19. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

According to members of the House and Senate intelligence committees on 1 February 2000, the failure of NSA's information processing system last week "is merely the latest sign that the super-secret agency has allowed some of its computer technology to fall woefully out of date."

Strobel, Warren P. "The Sound of Silence? America's Elite Eavesdropping Agency Faces an Uncertain Future." U.S. News and World Report, 14 Feb. 2000, 24-27.

The computer failure of 24 January 2000 "illustrates the perilous state of the NSA.... A number of current and former NSA officials ... say America's security will be increasingly at risk if the NSA does not manage to pull itself into the future -- and soon.... [O]fficials say the NSA is stretched so thin that it no longer provides the sustained reporting vital for early warnings to U.S officials."

Drogin, Bob. "NSA Blackout Reveals Downside of Secrecy." Los Angeles Times, 13 Mar. 2000. [http://www.latimes.com]

"[T]he blackout of the world's most powerful collection of supercomputers is hard evidence of the vast problems facing America's largest and most secretive intelligence agency. By all accounts, the NSA has lost its lead -- and perhaps its way -- in the information revolution it helped create.... Intelligence experts blame NSA's woes on budget and staffing cuts since the Cold War, tougher targets and countermeasures and, most important, a hidebound bureaucracy that remains wedded to telex technology in the e-mail age."

Ignatius, David. "Where We Can't Snoop." Washington Post, 17 Apr. 2000, A21. Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 24 Apr. 2000, 27.

The author notes that "[t]he NSA ops center is ... ground zero for global paranoia about privacy." However, "[r]ather than the omnipotent agency its critics imagine, [the NSA] seems these days to be struggling to keep its head above water."

Macintyre, Ben. "UK Spied for US as Computer Bug Hit." Times (London), 27 Apr. 2000. [http://www.the-times.co.uk]

According to NSA Deputy Director Barbara McNamara, "Britain kept the US supplied with top secret information when America's main intelligence-gathering agency was paralysed by a computer glitch" in late January.

Sullivan, Laura. "NSA 2nd-in-Command Is Transferred to London." Baltimore Sun, 28 Apr. 2000. [http://www.sunspot.net]

On 27 April 2000, NSA's deputy director Barbara McNamara announced that this summer she will become the liaison to British authorities at the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

McCutcheon, Chuck. "Intelligence Markup Gives NSA Increase." Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, 29 Apr. 2000, 1001.

In a closed session on 27 April 2000, the SSCI approved an intelligence authorization bill for FY 2001 that is said to include a significant increase for NSA. See also, Chuck McCutcheon, "House Takes up Intelligence Bill that Would Provide NSA with Means to Modernize," Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, 20 May 2000, 1208.

Verton, Daniel. "Congress Pushes Intelligence Reform." Federal Computer Week, 10 May 2000. [http://www.fcw.com]

"The Senate last week released a report on the fiscal 2001 intelligence authorization bill that ... tagged the rebuilding of the National Security Agency as Congress' top, near-term priority.... 'The NSA systematically has sacrificed infrastructure modernization in order to meet day-to-day intelligence requirements,' the [SSCI] concluded in its report. 'Consequently, the organization begins the 21st century lacking the technological infrastructure and human resources needed even to maintain the status quo, much less meet emerging challenges.'"

Verton, Daniel. "NSA Plan May Face Political Hurdles." Federal Computer Week, 6 Jun. 2000. [http://www.fcw.com]

NSA's "plan to hand over the bulk of its information technology support systems to industry may face hurdles on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers have shown reluctance to approve large-scale outsourcing contracts that take away thousands of government jobs.... 'Project Groundbreaker,' officially announced [on 7 June 2000], has been designed to help the intelligence agency become more efficient by tapping into the technology expertise in the private sector."

Munro, Neil. "Undercover Agency Sheds Its Security Blanket." National Journal, 7 Oct. 2000, 3176.

On 23 September 2000, NSA held its first Family Day.

Gertz, Bill. "NSA's Warning Arrived Too Late to Save the Cole." Washington Times, 25 Oct. 2000, A1.

Harvey, Donald [RADM/USN (Ret.)]. "Overhaul of Organization and Culture at NSA." AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes 44-00 (3 Nov. 2000).

"The most wide-sweeping cultural transformation and organizational reorientation at National Security Agency in many years was recently announced by NSA Director, Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden.... The new 'Executive Leadership Team' has fewer members than its predecessor and concentrates on corporate-wide, strategic issues rather than day-to-day operations. The current leadership team consists of General Hayden, Deputy Director Bill Black (a retiree recalled to active duty), and the agency's deputy directors for operations, information assurance and technology.

"A new office of the chief of staff ... has replaced the executive director and corporate management divisions. New 'associate director' slots have been created to handle the agency's information technology, human resources, installation and logistics functions with a fourth associate director in charge of the agency's National Cryptologic School.... The agency now has a Chief Financial Manager, a Chief Information Officer, a Senior Acquisition Executive, a Transformation Office, and a division whose primary function is to assure the well-being of the highly stressed information technology infrastructure. These latter offices operate under the Chief of Staff.

"Widely known throughout the intelligence community as having an entrenched hierarchy dedicated to doing business largely the way the hierarchy desired -- regardless of the particular flag officer detailed to be the director -- the NSA now has a centralized management structure with much of the power concentrated directly under the director and his deputy....The remarkable thing is that Hayden seems to have most of the major players -- DOD, DCI, NSA senior people, Congress, etc. -- at least tacitly agreeing with his thrust."

Loeb, Vernon. "NSA Reorganization." Washington Post, 19 Dec. 2000, A37. [http://www. washingtonpost.com]

DIRNSA Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden has "completed his wholesale restructuring" of NSA, "leaving the nation's signals intelligence (SIGINT) and code-making bureaucracy with just two directorates, those of SIGINT and Information Assurance. When Hayden took command ... 20 months ago, he inherited ... five directorates ... functioning as entities unto themselves. The duplication in support services was enormous and its responsiveness to the director's office was ... less than optimal. The two left ... are both 'mission-oriented.' Everything else at the NSA comes directly under Hayden or under the newly designated chief of staff, Adm. Joseph Burns."

 

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