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National Security Agency, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 330

Essay

The National Security Agency is located at Fort Meade in Maryland. It has a prime mission of protecting homeland security in the USA. It is a high technology unit that leads the US Government in cryptology and deciphering of information to facilitate decision making for both the USA and its allies. Information Assurance is a unit that works on the prevention of foreign governments or terrorists in gaining access to sensitive US Government information. Signals intelligence monitors communications from abroad with the aim of terrorist prevention and other espionage activities that may be centered on the USA. (National Security Agency 2012).

The officers working for the NSA both handle and deal with highly classified information and as such are duty bound to retain the highest level of confidentiality and secrecy over the work performed and the operations carried out. Executive Order 12333 issued in 1981 delineates many of these roles and responsibilities for the senior officials. Other legal acts including the Prevention of Terrorism Act also come into play. The NSA is directed by a senior Military Officer normally at Vice Admiral or Lt. General Level. The strong military connections illustrate the role played in the gathering of military intelligence and data. Controversies can occur between what information may be placed in public domain to that which remains classified to both congress and the President of the USA.

Wiretapping and eavesdropping on conversations and data transmissions being a case in point. The New York Times produced an article stating that wiretapping of private conversations had increased and is considered beyond the legal bounds of the law. This has brought into question the legal bounds which the NSA can operate under without infringing ordinary citizen’s rights. Since the crackdown on Terrorism these rights seems to have no bounds according to critics. (Risen, 2009)

Works Cited

National Security Agency. National Security Agency. 2012. http://www.nsa.gov/about/mission/index.shtml (accessed 5 22, 2012).

RISEN, ERIC LICHTBLAU and JAMES. Officials Say U.S. Wiretaps Exceeded Law. 4 15, 2009. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/16/us/16nsa.html?_r=1&ref=nationalsecurityagency (accessed 5 22, 2012).

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