NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY

Generally

2009

 

Materials presented in chronological order.

Wood, David. "NSA Joining Social Network for Intelligence Analysts: Thousands Can Share Secrets, Tips, Professional Gossip." Baltimore Sun, 4 Mar. 2009. [http://www.baltimoresun.com]

NSA analysts are now able "to post their photo, phone number and e-mail address" on a "highly secure network, called A-Space (the 'A' is for analysts)," with a "Facebook-like page accessible only to senior analysts at 16 other U.S. intelligence agencies." Maj. Gen. John DeFreitas, chief of analysis for the NSA, said in an interview at NSA headquarters at Fort Meade that "in what amounts to a major culture shift among spies, 'need to know' has become 'need to show.'"

Lichtblau, Eric, and James Risen. "N.S.A.'s Intercepts Exceed Limits Set by Congress." New York Times, 16 Apr. 2009. [http://www.nytimes.com]

According to government officials, NSA "intercepted private e-mail messages and phone calls of Americans in recent months on a scale that went beyond the broad legal limits established by Congress last year.... [T]he issue appears focused in part on technical problems in the N.S.A.'s ability at times to distinguish between communications inside the United States and those overseas as it uses its access to American telecommunications companies' fiber-optic lines and its own spy satellites to intercept millions of calls and e-mail messages. One official said that led the agency to inadvertently 'target' groups of Americans and collect their domestic communications without proper court authority."

Nakashima, Ellen. "Pentagon Cyber Unit Prompts Questions: New Command's Offensive Role Complicates Administration's Global Outreach." Washington Post, 13 Jun. 2009. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

The launching of the Pentagon's "cyber-command" could be announced as early as next week. "Defense officials are creating the command to defend military networks and develop offensive cyber-weapons, based on a strategy that brings together the military's cyber-warriors and the National Security Agency." According to administration officials, the cyber-command "will focus strictly on military networks." However, "senior intelligence officials have also urged that the NSA use its abilities to help the Department of Homeland Security defend America's critical computer systems."

Risen, James, and Eric Lichtblau. "E-Mail Surveillance Renews Concerns in Congress." New York Times, 17 Jun. 2009. [http://www.nytimes.com]

According to current and former officials, NSA "is facing renewed scrutiny over the extent of its domestic surveillance program, with critics in Congress saying its recent intercepts of the private telephone calls and e-mail messages of Americans are broader than previously acknowledged."

Benson, Pam, and Terry Frieden. "Report: Domestic Surveillance Program Relied on Flawed [Legal] Analysis." CNN, 10 Jul. 2009. [http://www.cnn.com]

According to a report to Congress on 10 July 2009, the government's "no-warrant surveillance program initiated after the September 11 terrorist attacks relied on a 'factually flawed' legal analysis inappropriately provided by a single Justice Department official [John Yoo].... The report was compiled by the inspectors general of the nation's top intelligence agencies, the Pentagon and the Justice Department."

Lichtblau, Eric, and James Risen. "U.S. Wiretaps Were of Limited Value, Officials Report." New York Times, 11 Jul. 2009. [http://www.nytimes.com]

A report by the inspectors general of the Justice Department, NSA, CIA, Defense Department, and ODNI, released on 10 July 2009, says that the effectiveness of the government's program of warrantless wiretaps "was unclear.... Most intelligence officials interviewed 'had difficulty citing specific instances' when [NSA's] wiretapping program contributed to successes against terrorists, the report said....

"The report states that at the same time [President] Bush authorized the warrantless wiretapping operation, he also signed off on other surveillance programs that the government has never publicly acknowledged.... [C]urrent and former officials say that those programs included data mining of e-mail messages of Americans." See also, Carrie Johnson and Ellen Nakashima, "'Inappropriate' Secrecy Hurt Surveillance Effort, Report Says," Washington Post, 11 Jul. 2009.

Text of the Joint Inspectors General Report, dated 10 July 2009, is available at: http://www.fas.org/irp/eprint/psp.pdf.

Nakashima, Ellen. "NSA Names Its First Director of Compliance." Washington Post, 24 Jul. 2009. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

DIRNSA Lt. Gen. Keith Alexande has named John DeLong to the position of director of compliance. DeLong will "monitor adherence to rules governing the surveillance of phone calls and e-mails, as well as other agency activities."

Hoover, J. Nicholas. "NSA Director Tapped For Cyber Command." InformationWeek, 20 Oct. 2009. [http://www.informationweek.com]

President Obama has nominated NSA Director Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander "to be promoted to the rank of general and assigned as commander of the new United States Cyber Command" which "will be in charge of cyberwarfare and the security of military networks." The Cyber Command "will be based in Ft. Meade, Md., where the National Security Agency is also headquartered, and will be part of the U.S. Strategic Command.." Alexander will continue as NSA director; he "also heads the Joint Functional Component Command for Network Warfare, which is developing offensive cyberwarfare strategies."

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