National Security Agency – Wikipedia

U.S. signals intelligence organization

Seal of the National Security Agency

Flag of the National Security Agency

The National Security Agency (NSA) is a national-level intelligence agency of the United States Department of Defense, under the authority of the Director of National Intelligence. The NSA is responsible for global monitoring, collection, and processing of information and data for foreign and domestic intelligence and counterintelligence purposes, specializing in a discipline known as signals intelligence (SIGINT). The NSA is also tasked with the protection of U.S. communications networks and information systems.[8][9] The NSA relies on a variety of measures to accomplish its mission, the majority of which are clandestine.[10]

Originating as a unit to decipher coded communications in World War II, it was officially formed as the NSA by President Harry S. Truman in 1952. Since then, it has become the largest of the U.S. intelligence organizations in terms of personnel and budget.[6][11] The NSA currently conducts worldwide mass data collection and has been known to physically bug electronic systems as one method to this end.[12] The NSA is also alleged to have been behind such attack software as Stuxnet, which severely damaged Iran's nuclear program.[13][14] The NSA, alongside the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), maintains a physical presence in many countries across the globe; the CIA/NSA joint Special Collection Service (a highly classified intelligence team) inserts eavesdropping devices in high value targets (such as presidential palaces or embassies). SCS collection tactics allegedly encompass "close surveillance, burglary, wiretapping, [and] breaking and entering".[15][16]

Unlike the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), both of which specialize primarily in foreign human espionage, the NSA does not publicly conduct human-source intelligence gathering. The NSA is entrusted with providing assistance to, and the coordination of, SIGINT elements for other government organizations which are prevented by law from engaging in such activities on their own.[17] As part of these responsibilities, the agency has a co-located organization called the Central Security Service (CSS), which facilitates cooperation between the NSA and other U.S. defense cryptanalysis components. To further ensure streamlined communication between the signals intelligence community divisions, the NSA Director simultaneously serves as the Commander of the United States Cyber Command and as Chief of the Central Security Service.

The NSA's actions have been a matter of political controversy on several occasions, including its spying on antiVietnam War leaders and the agency's participation in economic espionage. In 2013, the NSA had many of its secret surveillance programs revealed to the public by Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor. According to the leaked documents, the NSA intercepts and stores the communications of over a billion people worldwide, including United States citizens. The documents also revealed the NSA tracks hundreds of millions of people's movements using cellphones' metadata. Internationally, research has pointed to the NSA's ability to surveil the domestic Internet traffic of foreign countries through "boomerang routing".[18]

The origins of the National Security Agency can be traced back to April 28, 1917, three weeks after the U.S. Congress declared war on Germany in World War I. A code and cipher decryption unit was established as the Cable and Telegraph Section which was also known as the Cipher Bureau.[19] It was headquartered in Washington, D.C. and was part of the war effort under the executive branch without direct Congressional authorization. During the course of the war it was relocated in the army's organizational chart several times. On July 5, 1917, Herbert O. Yardley was assigned to head the unit. At that point, the unit consisted of Yardley and two civilian clerks. It absorbed the navy's Cryptanalysis functions in July 1918. World War I ended on November 11, 1918, and the army cryptographic section of Military Intelligence (MI-8) moved to New York City on May 20, 1919, where it continued intelligence activities as the Code Compilation Company under the direction of Yardley.[20][21]

After the disbandment of the U.S. Army cryptographic section of military intelligence, known as MI-8, in 1919, the U.S. government created the Cipher Bureau, also known as Black Chamber. The Black Chamber was the United States' first peacetime cryptanalytic organization.[22] Jointly funded by the Army and the State Department, the Cipher Bureau was disguised as a New York City commercial code company; it actually produced and sold such codes for business use. Its true mission, however, was to break the communications (chiefly diplomatic) of other nations. Its most notable known success was at the Washington Naval Conference, during which it aided American negotiators considerably by providing them with the decrypted traffic of many of the conference delegations, most notably the Japanese. The Black Chamber successfully persuaded Western Union, the largest U.S. telegram company at the time, as well as several other communications companies to illegally give the Black Chamber access to cable traffic of foreign embassies and consulates.[23] Soon, these companies publicly discontinued their collaboration.

Despite the Chamber's initial successes, it was shut down in 1929 by U.S. Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson, who defended his decision by stating, "Gentlemen do not read each other's mail".[24]

During World War II, the Signal Intelligence Service (SIS) was created to intercept and decipher the communications of the Axis powers.[25] When the war ended, the SIS was reorganized as the Army Security Agency (ASA), and it was placed under the leadership of the Director of Military Intelligence.[25]

On May 20, 1949, all cryptologic activities were centralized under a national organization called the Armed Forces Security Agency (AFSA).[25] This organization was originally established within the U.S. Department of Defense under the command of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.[26] The AFSA was tasked to direct Department of Defense communications and electronic intelligence activities, except those of U.S. military intelligence units.[26] However, the AFSA was unable to centralize communications intelligence and failed to coordinate with civilian agencies that shared its interests such as the Department of State, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).[26] In December 1951, President Harry S. Truman ordered a panel to investigate how AFSA had failed to achieve its goals. The results of the investigation led to improvements and its redesignation as the National Security Agency.[27]

The National Security Council issued a memorandum of October 24, 1952, that revised National Security Council Intelligence Directive (NSCID) 9. On the same day, Truman issued a second memorandum that called for the establishment of the NSA.[28] The actual establishment of the NSA was done by a November 4 memo by Robert A. Lovett, the Secretary of Defense, changing the name of the AFSA to the NSA, and making the new agency responsible for all communications intelligence.[29] Since President Truman's memo was a classified document,[28] the existence of the NSA was not known to the public at that time. Due to its ultra-secrecy the U.S. intelligence community referred to the NSA as "No Such Agency".[30]

In the 1960s, the NSA played a key role in expanding U.S. commitment to the Vietnam War by providing evidence of a North Vietnamese attack on the American destroyer USSMaddox during the Gulf of Tonkin incident.[31]

A secret operation, code-named "MINARET", was set up by the NSA to monitor the phone communications of Senators Frank Church and Howard Baker, as well as key leaders of the civil rights movement, including Martin Luther King Jr., and prominent U.S. journalists and athletes who criticized the Vietnam War.[32] However, the project turned out to be controversial, and an internal review by the NSA concluded that its Minaret program was "disreputable if not outright illegal".[32]

The NSA mounted a major effort to secure tactical communications among U.S. forces during the war with mixed success. The NESTOR family of compatible secure voice systems it developed was widely deployed during the Vietnam War, with about 30,000 NESTOR sets produced. However a variety of technical and operational problems limited their use, allowing the North Vietnamese to exploit and intercept U.S. communications.[33]:Vol I, p.79

In the aftermath of the Watergate scandal, a congressional hearing in 1975 led by Senator Frank Church[34] revealed that the NSA, in collaboration with Britain's SIGINT intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), had routinely intercepted the international communications of prominent anti-Vietnam war leaders such as Jane Fonda and Dr. Benjamin Spock.[35] The Agency tracked these individuals in a secret filing system that was destroyed in 1974.[36] Following the resignation of President Richard Nixon, there were several investigations of suspected misuse of FBI, CIA and NSA facilities.[37] Senator Frank Church uncovered previously unknown activity,[37] such as a CIA plot (ordered by the administration of President John F. Kennedy) to assassinate Fidel Castro.[38] The investigation also uncovered NSA's wiretaps on targeted U.S. citizens.[39]

After the Church Committee hearings, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 was passed into law. This was designed to limit the practice of mass surveillance in the United States.[37]

In 1986, the NSA intercepted the communications of the Libyan government during the immediate aftermath of the Berlin discotheque bombing. The White House asserted that the NSA interception had provided "irrefutable" evidence that Libya was behind the bombing, which U.S. President Ronald Reagan cited as a justification for the 1986 United States bombing of Libya.[40][41]

In 1999, a multi-year investigation by the European Parliament highlighted the NSA's role in economic espionage in a report entitled 'Development of Surveillance Technology and Risk of Abuse of Economic Information'.[42] That year, the NSA founded the NSA Hall of Honor, a memorial at the National Cryptologic Museum in Fort Meade, Maryland.[43] The memorial is a, "tribute to the pioneers and heroes who have made significant and long-lasting contributions to American cryptology".[43] NSA employees must be retired for more than fifteen years to qualify for the memorial.[43]

NSA's infrastructure deteriorated in the 1990s as defense budget cuts resulted in maintenance deferrals. On January 24, 2000, NSA headquarters suffered a total network outage for three days caused by an overloaded network. Incoming traffic was successfully stored on agency servers, but it could not be directed and processed. The agency carried out emergency repairs at a cost of $3million to get the system running again. (Some incoming traffic was also directed instead to Britain's GCHQ for the time being.) Director Michael Hayden called the outage a "wake-up call" for the need to invest in the agency's infrastructure.[44]

In the 1990s the defensive arm of the NSAthe Information Assurance Directorate (IAD)started working more openly; the first public technical talk by an NSA scientist at a major cryptography conference was J. Solinas' presentation on efficient Elliptic Curve Cryptography algorithms at Crypto 1997.[45] The IAD's cooperative approach to academia and industry culminated in its support for a transparent process for replacing the outdated Data Encryption Standard (DES) by an Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). Cybersecurity policy expert Susan Landau attributes the NSA's harmonious collaboration with industry and academia in the selection of the AES in 2000and the Agency's support for the choice of a strong encryption algorithm designed by Europeans rather than by Americansto Brian Snow, who was the Technical Director of IAD and represented the NSA as cochairman of the Technical Working Group for the AES competition, and Michael Jacobs, who headed IAD at the time.[46]:75

After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the NSA believed that it had public support for a dramatic expansion of its surveillance activities.[47] According to Neal Koblitz and Alfred Menezes, the period when the NSA was a trusted partner with academia and industry in the development of cryptographic standards started to come to an end when, as part of the change in the NSA in the post-September 11 era, Snow was replaced as Technical Director, Jacobs retired, and IAD could no longer effectively oppose proposed actions by the offensive arm of the NSA.[48]

In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, the NSA created new IT systems to deal with the flood of information from new technologies like the Internet and cellphones. ThinThread contained advanced data mining capabilities. It also had a "privacy mechanism"; surveillance was stored encrypted; decryption required a warrant. The research done under this program may have contributed to the technology used in later systems. ThinThread was cancelled when Michael Hayden chose Trailblazer, which did not include ThinThread's privacy system.[49]

Trailblazer Project ramped up in 2002 and was worked on by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Boeing, Computer Sciences Corporation, IBM, and Litton Industries. Some NSA whistleblowers complained internally about major problems surrounding Trailblazer. This led to investigations by Congress and the NSA and DoD Inspectors General. The project was cancelled in early 2004.

Turbulence started in 2005. It was developed in small, inexpensive "test" pieces, rather than one grand plan like Trailblazer. It also included offensive cyber-warfare capabilities, like injecting malware into remote computers. Congress criticized Turbulence in 2007 for having similar bureaucratic problems as Trailblazer.[50] It was to be a realization of information processing at higher speeds in cyberspace.[51]

The massive extent of the NSA's spying, both foreign and domestic, was revealed to the public in a series of detailed disclosures of internal NSA documents beginning in June 2013. Most of the disclosures were leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. On 4 September 2020, the NSAs surveillance program was ruled unlawful by the US Court of Appeals. The court also added that the US intelligence leaders, who publicly defended it, were not telling the truth.[52]

NSA's eavesdropping mission includes radio broadcasting, both from various organizations and individuals, the Internet, telephone calls, and other intercepted forms of communication. Its secure communications mission includes military, diplomatic, and all other sensitive, confidential or secret government communications.[53]

According to a 2010 article in The Washington Post, "[e]very day, collection systems at the National Security Agency intercept and store 1.7billion e-mails, phone calls and other types of communications. The NSA sorts a fraction of those into 70 separate databases."[54]

Because of its listening task, NSA/CSS has been heavily involved in cryptanalytic research, continuing the work of predecessor agencies which had broken many World War II codes and ciphers (see, for instance, Purple, Venona project, and JN-25).

In 2004, NSA Central Security Service and the National Cyber Security Division of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agreed to expand NSA Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education Program.[55]

As part of the National Security Presidential Directive 54/Homeland Security Presidential Directive 23 (NSPD 54), signed on January 8, 2008, by President Bush, the NSA became the lead agency to monitor and protect all of the federal government's computer networks from cyber-terrorism.[9]

Operations by the National Security Agency can be divided in three types:

"Echelon" was created in the incubator of the Cold War.[56] Today it is a legacy system, and several NSA stations are closing.[57]

NSA/CSS, in combination with the equivalent agencies in the United Kingdom (Government Communications Headquarters), Canada (Communications Security Establishment), Australia (Australian Signals Directorate), and New Zealand (Government Communications Security Bureau), otherwise known as the UKUSA group,[58] was reported to be in command of the operation of the so-called ECHELON system. Its capabilities were suspected to include the ability to monitor a large proportion of the world's transmitted civilian telephone, fax and data traffic.[59]

During the early 1970s, the first of what became more than eight large satellite communications dishes were installed at Menwith Hill.[60] Investigative journalist Duncan Campbell reported in 1988 on the "ECHELON" surveillance program, an extension of the UKUSA Agreement on global signals intelligence SIGINT, and detailed how the eavesdropping operations worked.[61] On November 3, 1999 the BBC reported that they had confirmation from the Australian Government of the existence of a powerful "global spying network" code-named Echelon, that could "eavesdrop on every single phone call, fax or e-mail, anywhere on the planet" with Britain and the United States as the chief protagonists. They confirmed that Menwith Hill was "linked directly to the headquarters of the US National Security Agency (NSA) at Fort Meade in Maryland".[62]

NSA's United States Signals Intelligence Directive 18 (USSID 18) strictly prohibited the interception or collection of information about "... U.S. persons, entities, corporations or organizations...." without explicit written legal permission from the United States Attorney General when the subject is located abroad, or the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court when within U.S. borders. Alleged Echelon-related activities, including its use for motives other than national security, including political and industrial espionage, received criticism from countries outside the UKUSA alliance.[63][64]

The NSA was also involved in planning to blackmail people with "SEXINT", intelligence gained about a potential target's sexual activity and preferences. Those targeted had not committed any apparent crime nor were they charged with one.[65]

In order to support its facial recognition program, the NSA is intercepting "millions of images per day".[66]

The Real Time Regional Gateway is a data collection program introduced in 2005 in Iraq by NSA during the Iraq War that consisted of gathering all electronic communication, storing it, then searching and otherwise analyzing it. It was effective in providing information about Iraqi insurgents who had eluded less comprehensive techniques.[67] This "collect it all" strategy introduced by NSA director, Keith B. Alexander, is believed by Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian to be the model for the comprehensive worldwide mass archiving of communications which NSA is engaged in as of 2013.[68]

A dedicated unit of the NSA locates targets for the CIA for extrajudicial assassination in the Middle East.[69] The NSA has also spied extensively on the European Union, the United Nations and numerous governments including allies and trading partners in Europe, South America and Asia.[70][71]

In June 2015, WikiLeaks published documents showing that NSA spied on French companies.[72]

In July 2015, WikiLeaks published documents showing that NSA spied on federal German ministries since the 1990s.[73][74] Even Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphones and phone of her predecessors had been intercepted.[75]

Edward Snowden revealed in June 2013 that between February 8 and March 8, 2013, the NSA collected about 124.8billion telephone data items and 97.1billion computer data items throughout the world, as was displayed in charts from an internal NSA tool codenamed Boundless Informant. Initially, it was reported that some of these data reflected eavesdropping on citizens in countries like Germany, Spain and France,[76] but later on, it became clear that those data were collected by European agencies during military missions abroad and were subsequently shared with NSA.

In 2013, reporters uncovered a secret memo that claims the NSA created and pushed for the adoption of the Dual EC DRBG encryption standard that contained built-in vulnerabilities in 2006 to the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the International Organization for Standardization (aka ISO).[77][78] This memo appears to give credence to previous speculation by cryptographers at Microsoft Research.[79] Edward Snowden claims that the NSA often bypasses encryption altogether by lifting information before it is encrypted or after it is decrypted.[78]

XKeyscore rules (as specified in a file xkeyscorerules100.txt, sourced by German TV stations NDR and WDR, who claim to have excerpts from its source code) reveal that the NSA tracks users of privacy-enhancing software tools, including Tor; an anonymous email service provided by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and readers of the Linux Journal.[80][81]

Linus Torvalds, the founder of Linux kernel, joked during a LinuxCon keynote on September 18, 2013, that the NSA, who are the founder of SELinux, wanted a backdoor in the kernel.[82] However, later, Linus' father, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), revealed that the NSA actually did this.[83]

When my oldest son was asked the same question: "Has he been approached by the NSA about backdoors?" he said "No", but at the same time he nodded. Then he was sort of in the legal free. He had given the right answer, everybody understood that the NSA had approached him.

IBM Notes was the first widely adopted software product to use public key cryptography for clientserver and serverserver authentication and for encryption of data. Until US laws regulating encryption were changed in 2000, IBM and Lotus were prohibited from exporting versions of Notes that supported symmetric encryption keys that were longer than 40 bits. In 1997, Lotus negotiated an agreement with the NSA that allowed export of a version that supported stronger keys with 64 bits, but 24 of the bits were encrypted with a special key and included in the message to provide a "workload reduction factor" for the NSA. This strengthened the protection for users of Notes outside the US against private-sector industrial espionage, but not against spying by the US government.[85][86]

While it is assumed that foreign transmissions terminating in the U.S. (such as a non-U.S. citizen accessing a U.S. website) subject non-U.S. citizens to NSA surveillance, recent research into boomerang routing has raised new concerns about the NSA's ability to surveil the domestic Internet traffic of foreign countries.[18] Boomerang routing occurs when an Internet transmission that originates and terminates in a single country transits another. Research at the University of Toronto has suggested that approximately 25% of Canadian domestic traffic may be subject to NSA surveillance activities as a result of the boomerang routing of Canadian Internet service providers.[18]

Intercepted packages are opened carefully by NSA employees

A "load station" implanting a beacon

A document included in NSA files released with Glenn Greenwald's book No Place to Hide details how the agency's Tailored Access Operations (TAO) and other NSA units gain access to hardware. They intercept routers, servers and other network hardware being shipped to organizations targeted for surveillance and install covert implant firmware onto them before they are delivered. This was described by an NSA manager as "some of the most productive operations in TAO because they preposition access points into hard target networks around the world."[87]

Computers seized by the NSA due to interdiction are often modified with a physical device known as Cottonmouth.[88] Cottonmouth is a device that can be inserted in the USB port of a computer in order to establish remote access to the targeted machine. According to NSA's Tailored Access Operations (TAO) group implant catalog, after implanting Cottonmouth, the NSA can establish a network bridge "that allows the NSA to load exploit software onto modified computers as well as allowing the NSA to relay commands and data between hardware and software implants."[89]

NSA's mission, as set forth in Executive Order 12333 in 1981, is to collect information that constitutes "foreign intelligence or counterintelligence" while not "acquiring information concerning the domestic activities of United States persons". NSA has declared that it relies on the FBI to collect information on foreign intelligence activities within the borders of the United States, while confining its own activities within the United States to the embassies and missions of foreign nations.[90]

The appearance of a 'Domestic Surveillance Directorate' of the NSA was soon exposed as a hoax in 2013.[91][92]

NSA's domestic surveillance activities are limited by the requirements imposed by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for example held in October 2011, citing multiple Supreme Court precedents, that the Fourth Amendment prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures applies to the contents of all communications, whatever the means, because "a person's private communications are akin to personal papers."[93] However, these protections do not apply to non-U.S. persons located outside of U.S. borders, so the NSA's foreign surveillance efforts are subject to far fewer limitations under U.S. law.[94] The specific requirements for domestic surveillance operations are contained in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA), which does not extend protection to non-U.S. citizens located outside of U.S. territory.[94]

George W. Bush, president during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, approved the Patriot Act shortly after the attacks to take anti-terrorist security measures. Title 1, 2, and 9 specifically authorized measures that would be taken by the NSA. These titles granted enhanced domestic security against terrorism, surveillance procedures, and improved intelligence, respectively. On March 10, 2004, there was a debate between President Bush and White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, Attorney General John Ashcroft, and Acting Attorney General James Comey. The Attorneys General were unsure if the NSA's programs could be considered constitutional. They threatened to resign over the matter, but ultimately the NSA's programs continued.[95] On March 11, 2004, President Bush signed a new authorization for mass surveillance of Internet records, in addition to the surveillance of phone records. This allowed the president to be able to override laws such as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which protected civilians from mass surveillance. In addition to this, President Bush also signed that the measures of mass surveillance were also retroactively in place.[96]

Under the PRISM program, which started in 2007,[97][98] NSA gathers Internet communications from foreign targets from nine major U.S. Internet-based communication service providers: Microsoft,[99] Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple. Data gathered include email, video and voice chat, videos, photos, VoIP chats such as Skype, and file transfers.

Former NSA director General Keith Alexander claimed that in September 2009 the NSA prevented Najibullah Zazi and his friends from carrying out a terrorist attack.[100] However, this claim has been debunked and no evidence has been presented demonstrating that the NSA has ever been instrumental in preventing a terrorist attack.[101][102][103][104]

Besides the more traditional ways of eavesdropping in order to collect signals intelligence, NSA is also engaged in hacking computers, smartphones and their networks. These operations are conducted by the Tailored Access Operations (TAO) division, which has been active since at least circa 1998.[105]

According to the Foreign Policy magazine, "... the Office of Tailored Access Operations, or TAO, has successfully penetrated Chinese computer and telecommunications systems for almost 15 years, generating some of the best and most reliable intelligence information about what is going on inside the People's Republic of China."[106][107]

In an interview with Wired magazine, Edward Snowden said the Tailored Access Operations division accidentally caused Syria's internet blackout in 2012.[108]

The NSA is led by the Director of the National Security Agency (DIRNSA), who also serves as Chief of the Central Security Service (CHCSS) and Commander of the United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) and is the highest-ranking military official of these organizations. He is assisted by a Deputy Director, who is the highest-ranking civilian within the NSA/CSS.

NSA also has an Inspector General, head of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), a General Counsel, head of the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) and a Director of Compliance, who is head of the Office of the Director of Compliance (ODOC).[109]

Unlike other intelligence organizations such as CIA or DIA, NSA has always been particularly reticent concerning its internal organizational structure.

As of the mid-1990s, the National Security Agency was organized into five Directorates:

Each of these directorates consisted of several groups or elements, designated by a letter. There were for example the A Group, which was responsible for all SIGINT operations against the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and G Group, which was responsible for SIGINT related to all non-communist countries. These groups were divided in units designated by an additional number, like unit A5 for breaking Soviet codes, and G6, being the office for the Middle East, North Africa, Cuba, Central and South America.[111][112]

As of 2013[update], NSA has about a dozen directorates, which are designated by a letter, although not all of them are publicly known. The directorates are divided in divisions and units starting with the letter of the parent directorate, followed by a number for the division, the sub-unit or a sub-sub-unit.

The main elements of the organizational structure of the NSA are:[113]

In the year 2000, a leadership team was formed, consisting of the Director, the Deputy Director and the Directors of the Signals Intelligence (SID), the Information Assurance (IAD) and the Technical Directorate (TD). The chiefs of other main NSA divisions became associate directors of the senior leadership team.[123]

After president George W. Bush initiated the President's Surveillance Program (PSP) in 2001, the NSA created a 24-hour Metadata Analysis Center (MAC), followed in 2004 by the Advanced Analysis Division (AAD), with the mission of analyzing content, Internet metadata and telephone metadata. Both units were part of the Signals Intelligence Directorate.[124]

A 2016 proposal would combine the Signals Intelligence Directorate with Information Assurance Directorate into Directorate of Operations.[125]

NSANet stands for National Security Agency Network and is the official NSA intranet.[126] It is a classified network,[127] for information up to the level of TS/SCI[128] to support the use and sharing of intelligence data between NSA and the signals intelligence agencies of the four other nations of the Five Eyes partnership. The management of NSANet has been delegated to the Central Security Service Texas (CSSTEXAS).[129]

NSANet is a highly secured computer network consisting of fiber-optic and satellite communication channels which are almost completely separated from the public Internet. The network allows NSA personnel and civilian and military intelligence analysts anywhere in the world to have access to the agency's systems and databases. This access is tightly controlled and monitored. For example, every keystroke is logged, activities are audited at random and downloading and printing of documents from NSANet are recorded.[130]

In 1998, NSANet, along with NIPRNET and SIPRNET, had "significant problems with poor search capabilities, unorganized data and old information".[131] In 2004, the network was reported to have used over twenty commercial off-the-shelf operating systems.[132] Some universities that do highly sensitive research are allowed to connect to it.[133]

The thousands of Top Secret internal NSA documents that were taken by Edward Snowden in 2013 were stored in "a file-sharing location on the NSA's intranet site"; so, they could easily be read online by NSA personnel. Everyone with a TS/SCI-clearance had access to these documents. As a system administrator, Snowden was responsible for moving accidentally misplaced highly sensitive documents to safer storage locations.[134]

The NSA maintains at least two watch centers:

The number of NSA employees is officially classified[4] but there are several sources providing estimates.In 1961, NSA had 59,000 military and civilian employees, which grew to 93,067 in 1969, of which 19,300 worked at the headquarters at Fort Meade. In the early 1980s NSA had roughly 50,000 military and civilian personnel. By 1989 this number had grown again to 75,000, of which 25,000 worked at the NSA headquarters. Between 1990 and 1995 the NSA's budget and workforce were cut by one third, which led to a substantial loss of experience.[137]

In 2012, the NSA said more than 30,000 employees worked at Fort Meade and other facilities.[2] In 2012, John C. Inglis, the deputy director, said that the total number of NSA employees is "somewhere between 37,000 and one billion" as a joke,[4] and stated that the agency is "probably the biggest employer of introverts."[4] In 2013 Der Spiegel stated that the NSA had 40,000 employees.[5] More widely, it has been described as the world's largest single employer of mathematicians.[138] Some NSA employees form part of the workforce of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the agency that provides the NSA with satellite signals intelligence.

As of 2013 about 1,000 system administrators work for the NSA.[139]

The NSA received criticism early on in 1960 after two agents had defected to the Soviet Union. Investigations by the House Un-American Activities Committee and a special subcommittee of the United States House Committee on Armed Services revealed severe cases of ignorance in personnel security regulations, prompting the former personnel director and the director of security to step down and leading to the adoption of stricter security practices.[140] Nonetheless, security breaches reoccurred only a year later when in an issue of Izvestia of July 23, 1963, a former NSA employee published several cryptologic secrets.

The very same day, an NSA clerk-messenger committed suicide as ongoing investigations disclosed that he had sold secret information to the Soviets on a regular basis. The reluctance of Congressional houses to look into these affairs had prompted a journalist to write, "If a similar series of tragic blunders occurred in any ordinary agency of Government an aroused public would insist that those responsible be officially censured, demoted, or fired." David Kahn criticized the NSA's tactics of concealing its doings as smug and the Congress' blind faith in the agency's right-doing as shortsighted, and pointed out the necessity of surveillance by the Congress to prevent abuse of power.[140]

Edward Snowden's leaking of the existence of PRISM in 2013 caused the NSA to institute a "two-man rule", where two system administrators are required to be present when one accesses certain sensitive information.[139] Snowden claims he suggested such a rule in 2009.[141]

The NSA conducts polygraph tests of employees. For new employees, the tests are meant to discover enemy spies who are applying to the NSA and to uncover any information that could make an applicant pliant to coercion.[142] As part of the latter, historically EPQs or "embarrassing personal questions" about sexual behavior had been included in the NSA polygraph.[142] The NSA also conducts five-year periodic reinvestigation polygraphs of employees, focusing on counterintelligence programs. In addition the NSA conducts periodic polygraph investigations in order to find spies and leakers; those who refuse to take them may receive "termination of employment", according to a 1982 memorandum from the director of NSA.[143]

There are also "special access examination" polygraphs for employees who wish to work in highly sensitive areas, and those polygraphs cover counterintelligence questions and some questions about behavior.[143] NSA's brochure states that the average test length is between two and four hours.[144] A 1983 report of the Office of Technology Assessment stated that "It appears that the NSA [National Security Agency] (and possibly CIA) use the polygraph not to determine deception or truthfulness per se, but as a technique of interrogation to encourage admissions."[145] Sometimes applicants in the polygraph process confess to committing felonies such as murder, rape, and selling of illegal drugs. Between 1974 and 1979, of the 20,511 job applicants who took polygraph tests, 695 (3.4%) confessed to previous felony crimes; almost all of those crimes had been undetected.[142]

In 2010 the NSA produced a video explaining its polygraph process.[146] The video, ten minutes long, is titled "The Truth About the Polygraph" and was posted to the Web site of the Defense Security Service. Jeff Stein of The Washington Post said that the video portrays "various applicants, or actors playing themit's not cleardescribing everything bad they had heard about the test, the implication being that none of it is true."[147] AntiPolygraph.org argues that the NSA-produced video omits some information about the polygraph process; it produced a video responding to the NSA video.[146][148] George Maschke, the founder of the Web site, accused the NSA polygraph video of being "Orwellian".[147]

After Edward Snowden revealed his identity in 2013, the NSA began requiring polygraphing of employees once per quarter.[149]

The number of exemptions from legal requirements has been criticized. When in 1964 the Congress was hearing a bill giving the director of the NSA the power to fire at will any employee, The Washington Post wrote: "This is the very definition of arbitrariness. It means that an employee could be discharged and disgraced on the basis of anonymous allegations without the slightest opportunity to defend himself." Yet, the bill was accepted by an overwhelming majority.[140] Also, every person hired to a job in the US after 2007, at any private organization, state or federal government agency, must be reported to the New Hire Registry, ostensibly to look for child support evaders, except that employees of an intelligence agency may be excluded from reporting if the director deems it necessary for national security reasons.

When the agency was first established, its headquarters and cryptographic center were in the Naval Security Station in Washington, D.C. The COMINT functions were located in Arlington Hall in Northern Virginia, which served as the headquarters of the U.S. Army's cryptographic operations.[150] Because the Soviet Union had detonated a nuclear bomb and because the facilities were crowded, the federal government wanted to move several agencies, including the AFSA/NSA. A planning committee considered Fort Knox, but Fort Meade, Maryland, was ultimately chosen as NSA headquarters because it was far enough away from Washington, D.C. in case of a nuclear strike and was close enough so its employees would not have to move their families.[151]

Construction of additional buildings began after the agency occupied buildings at Fort Meade in the late 1950s, which they soon outgrew.[151] In 1963 the new headquarters building, nine stories tall, opened. NSA workers referred to the building as the "Headquarters Building" and since the NSA management occupied the top floor, workers used "Ninth Floor" to refer to their leaders.[152] COMSEC remained in Washington, D.C., until its new building was completed in 1968.[151] In September 1986, the Operations 2A and 2B buildings, both copper-shielded to prevent eavesdropping, opened with a dedication by President Ronald Reagan.[153] The four NSA buildings became known as the "Big Four."[153] The NSA director moved to 2B when it opened.[153]

Headquarters for the National Security Agency is located at 39632N 764617W / 39.10889N 76.77139W / 39.10889; -76.77139 in Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, although it is separate from other compounds and agencies that are based within this same military installation. Fort Meade is about 20mi (32km) southwest of Baltimore,[154] and 25mi (40km) northeast of Washington, D.C.[155] The NSA has two dedicated exits off BaltimoreWashington Parkway. The Eastbound exit from the Parkway (heading toward Baltimore) is open to the public and provides employee access to its main campus and public access to the National Cryptology Museum. The Westbound side exit, (heading toward Washington) is labeled "NSA Employees Only".[156][157] The exit may only be used by people with the proper clearances, and security vehicles parked along the road guard the entrance.[158]

NSA is the largest employer in the state of Maryland, and two-thirds of its personnel work at Fort Meade.[159] Built on 350 acres (140ha; 0.55sqmi)[160] of Fort Meade's 5,000 acres (2,000ha; 7.8sqmi),[161] the site has 1,300 buildings and an estimated 18,000 parking spaces.[155][162]

The main NSA headquarters and operations building is what James Bamford, author of Body of Secrets, describes as "a modern boxy structure" that appears similar to "any stylish office building."[163] The building is covered with one-way dark glass, which is lined with copper shielding in order to prevent espionage by trapping in signals and sounds.[163] It contains 3,000,000 square feet (280,000m2), or more than 68 acres (28ha), of floor space; Bamford said that the U.S. Capitol "could easily fit inside it four times over."[163]

The facility has over 100 watchposts,[164] one of them being the visitor control center, a two-story area that serves as the entrance.[163] At the entrance, a white pentagonal structure,[165] visitor badges are issued to visitors and security clearances of employees are checked.[166] The visitor center includes a painting of the NSA seal.[165]

The OPS2A building, the tallest building in the NSA complex and the location of much of the agency's operations directorate, is accessible from the visitor center. Bamford described it as a "dark glass Rubik's Cube".[167] The facility's "red corridor" houses non-security operations such as concessions and the drug store. The name refers to the "red badge" which is worn by someone without a security clearance. The NSA headquarters includes a cafeteria, a credit union, ticket counters for airlines and entertainment, a barbershop, and a bank.[165] NSA headquarters has its own post office, fire department, and police force.[168][169][170]

The employees at the NSA headquarters reside in various places in the Baltimore-Washington area, including Annapolis, Baltimore, and Columbia in Maryland and the District of Columbia, including the Georgetown community.[171] The NSA maintains a shuttle service from the Odenton station of MARC to its Visitor Control Center and has done so since 2005.[172]

Following a major power outage in 2000, in 2003 and in follow-ups through 2007, The Baltimore Sun reported that the NSA was at risk of electrical overload because of insufficient internal electrical infrastructure at Fort Meade to support the amount of equipment being installed. This problem was apparently recognized in the 1990s but not made a priority, and "now the agency's ability to keep its operations going is threatened."[173]

On August 6, 2006, The Baltimore Sun reported that the NSA had completely maxed out the grid, and that Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE, now Constellation Energy) was unable to sell them any more power.[174] NSA decided to move some of its operations to a new satellite facility.

BGE provided NSA with 65 to 75 megawatts at Fort Meade in 2007, and expected that an increase of 10 to 15 megawatts would be needed later that year.[175] In 2011, the NSA was Maryland's largest consumer of power.[159] In 2007, as BGE's largest customer, NSA bought as much electricity as Annapolis, the capital city of Maryland.[173]

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Talks with China will not help says USA NSA on situation on Ladakh – Oneindia


oi-Vicky Nanjappa

| Published: Saturday, October 10, 2020, 14:01 [IST]

New Delhi, Oct 10: China has "attempted to seize" control of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with India "by force" as part of its territorial aggression, US' National Security Adviser has said, underlining that time has come to accept that dialogue and agreements will not persuade Beijing to change.

India and China are locked in a five-month-long tense standoff in eastern Ladakh that has significantly strained relations between New Delhi and Beijing. Both sides have held a series of high-level diplomatic and military talks to resolve the border row. However, no breakthrough has been achieved to end the standoff.

China has deployed 60k soldiers on Indias northern border: Mike Pompeo

"Chinese Communist Party's territorial aggression is also apparent on its Indian border where China has attempted to seize control of the Line of Actual Control by force," US National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien said in a remark on China early this week in Utah.

China's territorial aggression is also true in the Taiwan Strait where the PLA (People's Liberation Army) Navy and Air Force continue to conduct threatening military drills, O'Brien said.

"Beijing's signature international development programme, One Belt One Road (OBOR), involves impoverished companies taking on opaque and unsustainable Chinese loans to pay Chinese firms employing Chinese labourers to build their infrastructure," he said.

Many of these projects are unnecessary, shoddily built and are "white elephants", the US National Security Adviser said.

"And now these countries' dependence on the Chinese debt leaves their sovereignty eroded and with no choice but to hue to the party's line on UN votes or any other issue that the Chinese Communist Party considers a red line," he said.

O'Brien also noted that China's other international aid efforts include selling surveillance systems and similar tools of repression to "pariah regimes" around the world, including Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro.

Amidst face-off with China, the importance of Rustom-2 in Indias arsenal

"The time has come to accept that dialogue and agreements will not persuade or compel the People's Republic of China to change. There's nothing to be gained from looking the other way or turning the other cheek. We've been doing that for far too long," he said.

O'Brien said the US must stand up to the Chinese and protect the American people.

"We must promote American prosperity, practice peace through strength and advance American influence in the world," he said, adding that under President Donald Trump's leadership that is exactly what the US has done.

O'Brien said the Trump administration has adopted a competitive approach to China.

That approach, he said, has two primary objectives. First, improve the resiliency of US institutions, alliances and partnerships to prevail against the challenges that China presents; and the second is to impose tangible cost in order to compel Beijing to cease or reduce actions harmful to America's vital national interest and those of its allied and partner nations.

"President Trump has taken decisive action to meet these objectives. He is working to prevent companies that answer to the Chinese Communist Party's intelligence and security apparatus," O'Brien said.

Citing examples, he said Chinese telecommunications giants Huawei and ZTE have been prevented from accessing Americans' personal and private data and national secrets. The Trump administration, he said, has also imposed import and export restrictions on US semiconductor technology and other exports going to Huawei and similar Chinese telecommunications corporations.

Our democratic partners are starting to follow. Just last month, the UK joined democracies such as the Czech Republic, Denmark, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Sweden in committing to using trusted suppliers to build their future 5G networks, O'Brien said.

"Carriers like Jio in India, Telstra in Australia, SK and KT in South Korea, NTT in Japan, and others have prohibited the use of Huawei equipment in their networks. The Trump administration is investigating and prosecuting the economic espionage aggressively," he said.

O'Brien said the Trump administration has strengthened its military relationships in the Indo-Pacific region.

"One important partnership which will be one of the most key partnerships for the United States in the 21st century, India, is thriving," he said.

He also noted that the US has signed extended US military access to Singapore's air and naval bases. The country is also working closely with Japan, Australia and New Zealand to strengthen relationships with the Pacific Islands, especially Timor. It is also working closely with Mongolia.

However, O'Brien said even as the US competes with China, it does welcome cooperation where America's interests align.

"The US has a deep and abiding respect for the Chinese people and enjoys longstanding ties to that country, including our alliance in World War II," O'Brien said.

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Talks with China will not help says USA NSA on situation on Ladakh - Oneindia

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How to choose the right multifactor authentication program – Federal News Network

Best listening experience is on Chrome, Firefox or Safari. Subscribe to Federal Drives daily audio interviews onApple PodcastsorPodcastOne.

With a huge chunk of the federal workforce still working remotely, the PIV cards employees normally use to authenticate themselves on federal networks arent always an option. So, many agencies have turned to commercial multifactor authentication solutions as an alternative. But some of those solutions are more secure than others. To help agencies sort the good from the not-so-good, the National Security Agency has just released a guide to commercial multifactor authentication. Dr. Alan Laing is Senior Subject Matter Expert for Vulnerabilities and Mitigations at NSA, and he joined the Federal Drive to talk more about the information paper.

Jared Serbu: I think for starters, maybe you can just spend a minute here talking about why NSA decided to release this publication at this particular time. I mean, is have you been getting a lot of inquiries from federal agencies and other organizations about multifactor authentication in these interesting last few months?

Alan Laing: So interesting last months is probably a good term to use. The NSA put out a number of cybersecurity information reports related to our customers, trying to continue working. A lot of them were pushed to do telework and things like that. So the multifactor authentication cybersecurity report was part of that.

Jared Serbu: And I guess the main takeaway for me here is that in a pinch, almost anything is better than just a username and password. But not all multifactor authentication schemes are created equal. And just working backwards here a little bit, you specifically call out techniques like text messages, out-of-band SMS messages to your phone, and some of the commercial biometric solutions that are out there, as not being the best ideas. Talk a bit about some of the weaknesses there and why you wouldnt necessarily use those as your first go-tos.

Alan Laing: Yeah, so the SMS and biometrics have have a history of being ineffective at binding the user that is making a request to their digital identity. The NIST report on digital identity guidance describes the the rationale for that. Basically, youre leaving your fingerprints and biometrics all over the place, and its its fairly easy to replicate. And then for the SMS, theres, theres a ton of ways to impersonate or to capture the SMS messages. So that was considered not the best way of moving forward.

Jared Serbu: And the publication, we should tell listeners, does include a list of all the various FIPS-approved solutions that are out there. We certainly cant get into them all in this venue. But can you take us through some of the characteristics that you want to be looking for when youre actually selecting a strong solution?

Alan Laing: Given the need to get this out quickly? We have some expertise here. But we wanted to be fair, so we used the criteria in the NIST digital guidelines document, the recent update, and we used those criteria for our search of public websites that vendors were advertising solutions that met these criteria. So the NIST webpage that has all the validated crypto modules was where we started. And then when we saw the vendors that were validating their products for advertising or indicating that they were compliant or trying to meet the criteria, then we went into those websites and validated those products against the criteria.

Jared Serbu: Can you take us through what you think the most or this is almost a NIST question. But what the most important criteria are for determining whether you really can trust a multifactor authentication scheme.

Alan Laing: So theres the cryptographic part of it. Every multifactor authentication involves some sort of cryptography, whether its a one-time password or a random number generator. So, the independent and standards-based validation thats provided by the FIPS 140-2 validation scheme is probably the most important piece of that. The validator, the verifier of the request also needs to be locked down so theyre not just accepting any claim. It has to be also be cryptographically, and from a network security perspective, it needs to be sound. Those two together and you see the FIPS validation indications in the report as well as things like FedRAMP, or the NIST 853, which is their security controls document.

Jared Serbu: And as you also point out in the document, well, you dont point this out but Ill point out, not every agencys going to have the option to send government-furnished equipment home with every single employee. But you do point out that that is a better option, if you can. Can you talk a bit about why thats the case?

Alan Laing: Yeah. So the phrase that I like to use is, if you have a perfectly good sound authenticator, and you put it into a perfectly compromised host, whoever is controlling that host has access to those credentials. And so making sure that the credentials are in the control of the user, all factors of the authentication solution should be under the exclusive control of the user thats representing it. So government-furnished equipment is managed with the understanding of the specific threats. And its more difficult to do that with your own home computer than if the information isnt there, or the work required to maintain that might not be being done regularly.

Jared Serbu: Yeah, and you also point out that if you dont have the option of sending hardware home with people, virtual GFE is a pretty good second choice. Can you talk about how close we can get to a secure environment with that virtualized environment?

Alan Laing: So the 10s program that was referenced in the document is an Air Force program that basically takes your hardware and allows you to boot to a known good image. So that deals with a lot of the issues regarding you know, an intruder that might have persistence on the hard drive. It basically forces the adversary to start anew with an attack against your system. And these are refreshed periodically to maintain a fairly good protection against the current threats as well.

Jared Serbu: Thats Dr. Alan Laing, the senior subject matter expert for vulnerabilities and mitigations at NSA.

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How to choose the right multifactor authentication program - Federal News Network

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UofL to launch health care cybersecurity curriculum with $6.3 million from National Security Agency, pilot focused on veterans and first responders -…

LOUISVILLE, Ky. The University of Louisville will develop a curriculum to increase cybersecurity talent specifically focused on health care thanks to a $6 million in funding from the National Security Agency (NSA). The pilot phase of the Healthcare Cybersecurity Workforce Certificate initially will provide the training for 200 first responders and military veterans in accordance with the request for proposal. The certificate incorporates technology industry badging from Microsoft, IBM, and Google, as well as hands-on, applied learning and gamification components.

UofL will lead the curriculum development and pilot the online program through itsCenter for Digital Transformation, working with a coalition of three other institutions. The project also includes $300,000 in funding for research into security biometrics.

We understand the need for cybersecurity talent in our health care workforce to protect the information systems that patients, providers, and payers rely on to deliver quality health care, said UofL President Neeli Bendapudi. We are excited to provide this exceptional opportunity for students to enhance their future career opportunities with cutting-edge skills in a short six-month time frame while increasing security for health care data in Louisville and beyond.

Building on more than a decade of expertise in cybersecurity training, UofL will lead a coalition of schools to develop the curriculum including the University of Arkansas Little Rock, the University of North Florida, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System Bluegrass Community and Technical College and Owensboro Community and Technical College, and a coalition liaison from the City University of Seattle. Each of the schools in the coalition is an NSA-designated National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense and contributes interests, experience, and skills aligned with health care cybersecurity systems.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell authored a provision in the FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act directing the NSA to partner with universities to develop the cybersecurity workforce. Senator McConnell, also a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, then secured the necessary federal funding to make this program possible. Later, the Senator wrote to NSA Director General Paul Nakasone to support UofLs application and encourage the universitys selection for this prestigious pilot program.

The University of Louisville is uniquely positioned to educate a new generation of cybersecurity professionals. I was proud to lead the Senate to create and fund this national security pilot program and to support the universitys proposal, McConnell said. Working with industry leaders through its Center for Digital Transformation, UofL and its coalition partners can improve our nations health care cyber defense. Im particularly pleased the university is tapping into the skills of our brave service members as they return to civilian life, including many from Kentuckys military installations. This project represents an intersection of UofLs many strengths and Im grateful for President Bendapudis enthusiasm to bring it to Louisville. I look forward to the collaborations benefits for our Commonwealth and the nation.

The UofL Center for Digital Transformation provides future-focused curricula and educational tools to help train the workforce in fast-growing technology areas by integrating the best features of industry and academic institution relationships. The center will coordinate, develop, manage, and monitor the Healthcare Cybersecurity Workforce Certificate program, a two-year project with an option for a third year. Following its development, the curriculum will be made available to other institutions at no charge, increasing the impact of this investment beyond Louisville and Kentucky.

In addition to the certificate program, the project will engage UofLs engineering research power to develop a new security authentication method using neural network models. Adel Elmaghraby, Ph.D., co-PI for the entire project and professor in the UofLSpeed School of Engineering, will lead a collaboration with Mississippi-based historically black institution Alcorn State University to conduct pioneering research into biometrics. The researchers will investigate whether a persons computer keystrokes and mouse movements can be used as a sort of digital signature which, along with their username and password, would provide an added layer of cybersecurity.

As technology continues to become more and more of an integral piece of our everyday lives, a strong cybersecurity industry and workforce are the most important protections we have in making our personal information, our financial transactions, and our health care systems secure, said U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth. I was proud to support this proposal and I am thrilled to see the University of Louisville receive this much sought-after federal investment. This project will help ensure that our city and the university are not only front and center in the future of cybersecurity and the protection of critical information, but also are creating the highly skilled workforce that drives economic growth for years to come.

Certificate program participants will complete the three-level certificate in only six months through online courses led by instructors from coalition institutions, gaining expertise in artificial intelligence, robotics, blockchain, internet of things (IoT), machine learning, and other areas. The curriculum will employ innovative training tools including gamification and make use of anonymous datasets and use cases provided by industry partners, including the Louisville Healthcare CEO Council.

As our health care data environment becomes increasingly complex, it is absolutely critical that patient health information is secure and protected, said Tammy York Day, LHCC president and CEO. LHCC is committed to supporting UofLs efforts to arm the next generation of cybersecurity professionals with the skills they need to ensure that our health care data infrastructure is a tool not a barrier to empowering patients to be active participants in their own health care. This grant from the NSA is one of many LHCC-UofL collaborative efforts designed to support and broaden our health care innovation ecosystem, create a strong tech talent pipeline, strengthen and deepen the connections between our corporate and academic communities and invest in Louisvilles success together.

While the curriculum is focused on the health care industry, the skills learned are applicable to multiple industries. In the course of the certificate program, participants will earn industry badges from Google, IBM, Microsoft, and others, adding value to certificate completion and providing pathways to additional educational opportunities.

Since these skills are applicable in nearly every industry, the career credentials these students will acquire are highly valued not only in the health care industry but across the business spectrum, said Sharon Kerrick, Ph.D., assistant vice president and executive director of UofLs Center for Digital Transformation and the principal investigator on the grant.

Andrew Wright, Ph.D., assistant professor of computer information systems in the UofLCollege of Business, will assist in leading the development of the certificate program curriculum. Once developed, the curriculum will be available to other institutions free of charge for one year. The first cohort of 30-40 students is expected to be enrolled in spring 2021. Applicants do not need health care experience or to be enrolled in a degree program at UofL to complete the certificate, however, it can be applied as a credit toward some UofL degree programs.

In its pilot phase, 200 military veterans and first responders will participate in the certificate program free of charge.

The cybersecurity certificate pilot led by UofL for military veterans and first responders is another great example of the universitys strong support to national security. This program will provide participants the opportunity to receive a meaningful certificate leading to employment opportunities in rewarding careers in a growth industry and provide regional/national employers with a much-needed talent source, said retired Army Brig. Gen. Jim Iacocca, president, and CEO of Knox Regional Development Alliance.

Kyle Hurwitz, director of military initiatives at UofL, says this is another example of UofLs commitment to serving military-connected students.

This grant is a win-win for the national cybersecurity talent pool especially focusing on health care, Hurwitz said. Through it, we will be able to assist transitioning service members to gain employment in very high demand industry.

UofL has achieved Military Friendly School designation for 10 consecutive years.

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UofL to launch health care cybersecurity curriculum with $6.3 million from National Security Agency, pilot focused on veterans and first responders -...

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National Storage Affiliates Trust Announces Date of its Third Quarter 2020 Earnings Release and Conference Call – Business Wire

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--National Storage Affiliates Trust (NSA or the Company) (NYSE: NSA) today announced the Company will release financial results for the three months ended September 30, 2020 after market close on Thursday, November 5, 2020. NSA will host a conference call to discuss its financial results, current market conditions and future outlook at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, November 6, 2020. Following prepared remarks, management will accept questions from registered financial analysts. All other participants are encouraged to listen to the call via webcast using the link found on the Companys website.

Conference Call and Webcast:Date/Time: Friday, November 6, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. ETWebcast link available at: http://www.nationalstorageaffiliates.com Domestic (toll free): 877-407-9711International: 412-902-1014

Replay Information:Domestic (toll free): 877-660-6853International: 201-612-7415Conference ID: 13692161

A replay of the webcast will be available for 30 days on NSAs website at http://www.nationalstorageaffiliates.com. Any transcription, recording or retransmission of the Companys conference call and webcast in any way are strictly prohibited without the prior written consent of NSA.

Supplemental materials will be posted to the investor relations section of the companys website prior to the conference call.

About National Storage Affiliates Trust

National Storage Affiliates Trust is a real estate investment trust headquartered in Denver, Colorado, focused on the ownership, operation and acquisition of self storage properties located within the top 100 metropolitan statistical areas throughout the United States. As of June 30, 2020, the Company held ownership interests in and operated 784 self storage properties located in 35 states and Puerto Rico with approximately 49.2 million rentable square feet. NSA is one of the largest owners and operators of self storage properties among public and private companies in the United States.

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National Storage Affiliates Trust Announces Date of its Third Quarter 2020 Earnings Release and Conference Call - Business Wire

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NSA announces new Autumn webinar series ‘Feeding the flock and getting it right’ – The Scottish Farmer

IN a year where face to face events are off the table, the National Sheep Association are offering its next programme of Autumn webinars to be held as part of its Virtual celebration of sheep farming.

NSAs programme of webinars will this time be mostly themed to fit with the Autumn online events focus Feeding the flock and getting it right on Tuesday, October 21 and Wednesday, October 22.

The nutrition focussed discussions will provide sheep farmers with the chance to hear from industry experts in the comfort, safety and convenience of their own homes as Covid-19 restrictions continue to limit the opportunity to join traditional evening meetings often held by NSA regions at this time of year.

Many of NSAs long-standing supporters will be joining the webinars to deliver interesting and useful information. Sponsors and speakers for the two-day series include AHDB, MSD Animal Health, Rumenco, ForFarmers, The Woodland Trust, Agriwebb, Bimeda, Carrs Billington and British Wool.

All webinars will be open to everyone to join, with free registration for each webinar available in advance from the NSAs new online event website nsavirtualevent.org.uk

The opportunity to view new products and demonstrations will also run alongside the webinar programme as trade stand exhibitors and breed societies are able to deliver information to interested sheep farmers through their own dedicated area of the website.

NSA chief executive Phil Stocker said: We have been thrilled by the success of our webinars since this new way of sharing information was somewhat forced upon us earlier this year. Now, as a permanent feature of the knowledge exchange NSA is proud to deliver alongside some incredibly experienced and interesting speakers we hope that our new line up of Autumn webinars will appeal to sheep farmers, students, veterinary professionals and more who are looking to update their knowledge on flock nutrition and other topics..

Details of the webinar programme and registrations links can be found at http://www.nsavirtualevent.org.uk.

Recordings from previous NSA webinars can be viewed at http://www.nationalsheep.org.uk/webinars.


NSA announces new Autumn webinar series 'Feeding the flock and getting it right' - The Scottish Farmer

Posted in NSA

How the NSA is disrupting foreign hackers targeting COVID-19 vaccine research – TechCrunch

The headlines arent always kind to the National Security Agency, a spy agency that operates almost entirely in the shadows. But a year ago, the NSA launched its new Cybersecurity Directorate, which in the past year has emerged as one of the more visible divisions of the spy agency.

At its core, the directorate focuses on defending and securing critical national security systems that the government uses for its sensitive and classified communications. But the directorate has become best known for sharing some of the more emerging, large-scale cyber threats from foreign hackers. In the past year the directorate has warned against attacks targeting secure boot features in most modern computers, and doxxed a malware operation linked to Russian intelligence. By going public, NSA aims to make it harder for foreign hackers to reuse their tools and techniques, while helping to defend critical systems at home.

But six months after the directorate started its work, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic and large swathes of the world and the U.S. went into lockdown, prompting hackers to shift gears and change tactics.

The threat landscape has changed, Anne Neuberger, NSAs director of cybersecurity, told TechCrunch at Disrupt 2020. Weve moved to telework, we move to new infrastructure, and weve watched cyber adversaries move to take advantage of that as well, she said.

Publicly, the NSA advised on which videoconferencing and collaboration software was secure, and warned about the risks associated with virtual private networks, of which usage boomed after lockdowns began.

But behind the scenes, the NSA is working with federal partners to help protect the efforts to produce and distribute a vaccine for COVID-19, a feat that the U.S. government called Operation Warp Speed. News of NSAs involvement in the operation was first reported by Cyberscoop. As the world races to develop a working COVID-19 vaccine, which experts say is the only long-term way to end the pandemic, NSA and its U.K. and Canadian partners went public with another Russian intelligence operation aimed at targeting COVID-19 research.

Were part of a partnership across the U.S. government, we each have different roles, said Neuberger. The role we play as part of Team America for Cyber is working to understand foreign actors, who are they, who are seeking to steal COVID-19 vaccine information or more importantly, disrupt vaccine information or shake confidence in a given vaccine.

Neuberger said that protecting the pharma companies developing a vaccine is just one part of the massive supply chain operation that goes into getting a vaccine out to millions of Americans. Ensuring the cybersecurity of the government agencies tasked with approving a vaccine is also a top priority.

Here are more takeaways from the talk, and you can watch the interview in full (embedded above).

TikTok is just days away from an app store ban, after the Trump administration earlier this year accused the Chinese-owned company of posing a threat to national security. But the government has been less than forthcoming about what specific risks the video sharing app poses, only alleging that the app could be compelled to spy for China. Beijing has long been accused of cyberattacks against the U.S., including the massive breach of classified government employee files from the Office of Personnel Management in 2014.

Neuberger said that the scope and scale of TikToks apps data collection makes it easier for Chinese spies to answer all kinds of different intelligence questions on U.S. nationals. Neuberger conceded that U.S. tech companies like Facebook and Google also collect large amounts of user data. But that there are greater concerns on how [China] in particular could use all that information collected against populations other than its own, she said.

The NSA is trying to be more open about the vulnerabilities it finds and discloses, Neuberger said. She told TechCrunch that the agency has shared a number of vulnerabilities with private companies this year, but those companies did not want to give attribution.

One exception was earlier this year when Microsoft confirmed NSA had found and privately reported a major cryptographic flaw in Windows 10, which could have allowed hackers to run malware masquerading as a legitimate file. The bug was so dangerous that NSA reported the vulnerability to Microsoft, which patched the bug.

Only two years earlier, the spy agency was criticized for finding and using a Windows vulnerability to conduct surveillance instead of alerting Microsoft to the flaw. The exploit was later leaked and was used to infect thousands of computers with the WannaCry ransomware, causing millions of dollars worth of damage.

As a spy agency, NSA exploits flaws and vulnerabilities in software to gather intelligence on the enemy. It has to run through a process called the Vulnerabilities Equities Process, which allows the government to retain bugs that it can use for spying.

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How the NSA is disrupting foreign hackers targeting COVID-19 vaccine research - TechCrunch

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Crime Prevention and Community Outreach, Common Goals for NSA and NYPD Commissioner – Abasto, Food and Beverage Industry News

Leaders of the National Supermarket Association (NSA) met with New York Police (NYPD) Commissioner Dermont Shea in recent days to seek solutions to the recent wave of robberies against its members grocery stores and to work on programs to help the community.

NSA President William Rodriguez, accompanied by members of the Board of Directors of the association that represents more than 400 independent supermarkets in New York and other cities on the East Coast, had the opportunity to dialogue with Commissioner Shea on issues of mutual interest.

According to a press release from the NSA, the meeting was also attended by the Chief of Patrol Bureau, Fausto Pichardo, who is the first Dominican-American to reach this position.

NSA leaders discussed with Commissioner Shea priority issues for the association, such as finding solutions to reduce the recent crime wave in their members stores.

Related Article: The National Supermarket Association Strengthens Relationship With The Dominican Government

We had a very productive conversation that took place over the course of an hour in which we discussed high-level priorities, such as the recent increase in crime at our members stores, opportunities for partnership in our mutual efforts to reach out to youth, and ways we can work together to keep our communities safe, said Rodriguez.

The National Supermarket Association expressed its support for the NYPD and its leadership personally thanked Commissioner Shea for the work of his officers during the pandemic and their tireless efforts to help keep neighborhoods safe. NYC has been the safest big city in the world for a while and will continue to be so with the efforts of the NYPD, the statement said.

This meeting was a great first step in establishing a more formal relationship between NSA and NYPD. We look forward to working together now and in the future, the NSA leadership said.

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Crime Prevention and Community Outreach, Common Goals for NSA and NYPD Commissioner - Abasto, Food and Beverage Industry News

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Deputy NSA gets one year extension – The Hindu

The Central Government on Thursday extended the tenure of Deputy National Security Adviser Pankaj Saran for one year.

Mr. Saran is a 1982 batch officer of the Indian Foreign Service and was appointed Deputy NSA in May 2018. He was then serving as Indias envoy to Russia.

The competent authority has approved the extension in tenure of Mr. Saran for one year beyond September 3, 2020 on contract basis as per the notification issued by the Department of Personnel and Training.

Mr. Saran previously held different positions, including the countrys High Commissioner to Bangladesh and has also served as the Joint Secretary in the Prime Ministers Office between 2007 and 2012 during the UPA regime.

Former chief of the Intelligence Bureau, Ajit Doval, is the National Security Adviser since 2014 after the NDA government headed by Narendra Modi came to power.

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Exceeding All Expectations: A Journey of Adversity, Triumph and Eternal Optimism – Worth

We all have a role to play if we are to discover an effective means out of our collective global social crisis.

This is the story that I never wanted to tell and the article that I never thought I would write.

Although these are my experiences, too many of my colleagues have similar stories. Unfortunately, so do many of our friends, family members and kindred spirits around the world. This is an American story, and it is a global story.

As a former senior national security official retrospectively looking at life, I can say that it is a story of hopes, promises, courage, circumstance, disappointment and perseverance. Most importantly, it is ultimately a story of triumph.

It is difficult to write about the numerous obstacles that one might face in lifeespecially when these obstacles are based solely on superficial trivialities, such as ones melanin content or skin pigmentation, and not on deficiencies in a persons intellect, motivation, character, potential or loyalty to their nation.

I have never sought sympathy nor empty apologies, so I have avoided talking about:

My climb up the corporate mountainwas arduous, challenging and eventually rewarding. I welcomed the challenge of high expectations, but unlike many of my non-minority counterparts who were on similar climbs, I had few Sherpas, almost no time for acclimation at any level, no supplemental oxygen (i.e., sustained mentoring or assistance) and had to move along a steeper incline than most.

I worked at the National Security Agency (NSA), where only a gifted and blessed few ever make it to the top of operations. From that perch, you are entrusted to lead the United States global Signals Intelligence enterprise and arguably one of the worlds most capable spy organizations. The NSAs Operations Directorate has a storied history that includes contributing to breaking the World War II enigma code and still provides key input to the President of the United States daily intelligence briefing book. In the NSAs storied operations history, no minority had ever successfully reached its pinnacle.

I was promoted into the U.S. Senior Executive Service in my late 30s. Since the NSA is a Department of Defense (DoD) organization, I was a one-star general equivalent. This came at a time when minorities rarely achieved that rank and almost never until their early 50s. I began my career as an Air Force Russian linguist. My first assignment was in Japan, where it immediately became apparent that the words Black and Russian were more synonymous with a bar drink than an individual. I was never mistreated, just viewed as more of a curiosity. My 36-plus-year career climb was unlike most. This is my first capture of these experiences in writing.

The anecdotes that I have experienced during my life would literally fill a multi-volume book. Upon hearing brief snippets, most listeners shake their heads in disbelief. Although only a few incidents were done with malicious intent, they each spoke volumes about our culture and accepted behaviors.

A few examples of the adversity I faced included:

In spite of the many challenges, I eventually shattered a significant ceiling becoming NSAs Director of Global Operations. Entrusted with multi-billion-dollar budgets, I led tens of thousands of the worlds best engineers, mathematicians, computer scientists, analysts and linguists. This was a far cry from the days when NSA minorities were relegated to the basement. However, when I departed the NSA, there was still much to be done.

The current pandemic has severely impacted much of our daily lives. This has also affected the economic, social and mental well-being of millions across the world.

However, there has also been a silent pandemic that has been ravaging our nation, and the world, for centuries. It has prevented citizens from attending schools and colleges, sporting and entertainment venues, visiting certain public places, joining various professions and being accepted into boardrooms. It has even interfered with places of worship. The side effects of this pandemic will likely linger for centuries to come. There are no daily casualty counts or comprehensive economic metrics, and although it is easy to identify, few want to acknowledge its existence. We shun the topic, ascribing it to days gone by, while ignoring the fact that if we only open our eyes, it stares back at us in our communities and workplaces. It is the pandemic of discrimination, bias and presumed privilege that knows no boundaries. This pandemic permeates every facet of our lives and is spawned in our homes, neighborhoods, communities and businesses. There appears to be no immunity for this silent plague and unfortunately few seem willing to help find a cure. But there is hope

The past six months have been a period of enlightenment for many. We have become semi-experts in the art of social distancing, living with some degree of depravity and adjusting to a new way of life. However, we have also seen an unprecedented social movement blossoming around the world. The movement has taken root in our homes, cities and businesses, and is being joined by those of goodwill and like minds daily. While this movement can be viewed with guarded optimism, many of us know that it is rooted in a fragile foundation that could crumble at any moment.

I applaud Worth for having the courage and social consciousness to allow me to tell part of my story. Mine is but a small link in a global chain of stories that should and must be told. I hope that in the coming months we can present the journeys of others who have triumphed in the face of overwhelming adversity. These authors stories should inspire us, while stirring our social and ethical consciousnesses to assist others in their journeys. We all have a role to play if we are to discover an effective means out of our collective global social crisis.

Writing this story has been cathartic. My reluctance has been overtaken by a sense of moral obligation to embolden others to come forward. We need your intellect, resourcefulness, ideas, prayers and active participation if we are to build a coalition of the willing and able. The journey will not be easymost worthy endeavors are usually laboriousbut we will achieve our goals. I look forward to serving with you. Keep the faith.

An indispensable guide to finance, investing and entrepreneurship.

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Huge threat to national security as hackers attack NIC computers, steal sensitive information – DNA India

In a major development, India's largest data agency National Informatics Centre (NIC) faced a cyberattack in which many computers of the agency were targeted and sensitive information was stolen from them.

The Special Cell of Delhi Police has registered a case and started investigations in connection with this attack.

The NIC contains information related to the national interest, including the Prime Minister and the NSA, among others. In such a situation, this cyber attack is being considered very dangerous. According to the information, this cyberattack has been done by a Bangalore based firm, with connections to the United States

Besides the information related to national security, the NIC computers also have information related to the citizens of India, and well as VVIP people.

According to the information received by the Special Cell of Delhi Police, a malware was sent to the systems of NIC through e-mail. Clicking on the link wiped all the information from the computers after which, information was given to Delhi Police. As soon as the news broke, the Special Cell of Delhi Police took command and started investigating the case.

Upon investigation of the received email on the complaint of the employees of NIC, its link was found to be connected to a company based out of Bangalore. A police investigation found the IP address of this company, which is associated with a US-based firm.

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Huge threat to national security as hackers attack NIC computers, steal sensitive information - DNA India

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Police: 2 more held in Agra boys kidnap-murder, NSA to be invoked – The Indian Express

By: Express News Service | Noida | September 14, 2020 5:01:30 amAccording to police, the two were nabbed near KSB Chowk in Chinchwad around 7.30 pm on Wednesday. Police said that during a search, they recovered 13.2 grams of MD, worth Rs 39,600, from them. (Representational)

Three days after the body of a missing nine-year-old boy was found in a pile of sacks, Agra police on Sunday arrested two more accused in connection with the case, taking the total arrests to three. They are likely to invoke the National Security Act (NSA) against the accused. The process to suspend an inspector of the police station concerned for alleged dereliction of duty will soon start.

Two more persons have been arrested after the main accused, Wahid, was arrested on Saturday. Given the nature of the crime, we will ensure that NSA is invoked against the accused. We will be initiating suspension proceedings against a policeman of the station concerned, said Agra SSP Babloo Kumar.

The child went missing from Agras Dhaura area on Tuesday, and his body was found close to his home two days later. According to police, the accused kidnapped the boy hoping for Rs 2 lakh in ransom but ended up killing him for fear of being caught. The accused allegedly choked him to death, police said.

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Police: 2 more held in Agra boys kidnap-murder, NSA to be invoked - The Indian Express

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NSA to be invoked against miscreants involved in killing Malihabad farmer: Lucknow DM – Outlook India

Lucknow, Sep 13 (PTI) The Lucknow district administration has decided to invoke stringent National Security Act against the six bike-borne miscreants involved in the killing of a 30-year-old farmer in its Malihabad tehsil early this week.

Ram Vilas Rawat, a Dalit farmer of Malihabad''s Dilawar Nagar area was attacked by the six bike-borne youths -- Ghulam Ali, Mustaqeem, Mufeed, Shanu and Guddu on Thursday night after he objected to them for running their bike on a hosepipe watering his field.

Rawat was critically injured in the attack and succumbed to his injuries while being rushed to the Malihabad community health centre, said police earlier.

"The entire incident is being probed by a Deputy SP rank officer and the National Security Act will be invoked against those found guilty," Lucknow District Magistrate of Abhishek Prakash said on Sunday.

Under the NSA, one can be detained without a charge for up to 12 months if the authorities are satisfied that the person is a threat to national security or law and order.

The police have already booked the six on charges of murder under IPC and various other provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

So far, three accused -- Ghulam Ali, Mustaqeem and Mufeed -- have been arrested, and efforts are on to nab the other two suspects.District Magistrate Prakash on Saturday visited Dilawar Nagar and transferred a sum of Rs 5 lakh to the bank account Rawat''s widow.

He also urged the family members of the deceased to maintain peace in the area and assured them of all possible help.

"The entire incident will be probed, and mischievous elements should be identified, and their arms'' licence will be cancelled," the DM said.

Rawat''s death had triggered a protest from his co-villagers, who had blocked the Hardoi Road and clashed with police.

"The entire incident will be probed, and mischievous elements would be identified, and their arms'' licenses will be cancelled," the DM said.

Malihabad Sub-Divisional Magistrate Ajay Kumar Rai, meanwhile, on Sunday said the situation in the area is normal, and the police force has been deployed in the area. PTI NAV RAXRAX

Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI

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NSA to be invoked against miscreants involved in killing Malihabad farmer: Lucknow DM - Outlook India

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Nebraska native, 101, defied convention: She served in South Pacific, with MacArthur and at NSA – Omaha World-Herald

The youngest of four daughters, Brodt enlisted Sept. 1, 1943.

At first, the bureaucracy foiled her efforts to see the world. She spent time at bases in Iowa and Missouri, training as a personnel specialist.

Id say, When are my orders for overseas coming? Brodt recalled.

In 1944, she found out the Army was sending her to the South Pacific. After rigorous overseas training, she was sent to an administrative headquarters in New Guinea.

It took 28 days to reach her new post. She was packed into a converted ocean liner with 50 other WACs and 4,000 GIs. They received two meals a day, eaten standing up to save space.

It looked like my fathers cattle at the feed bunk, Brodt said.

In New Guinea, the women lived in huts separated from the men. They slept on cots draped with mosquito nets and washed their clothes in their helmets. They worked every day, from 7 a.m. until at least 10 p.m.

Nebraska native Mildred Freeouf Brodt as a corporal in the Women's Army Corps during World War II.

Brodts job at the base was to allocate supplies to the front-line military units.

We never had enough to fill their requests. It was heartbreaking, Brodt said.

The women didnt have enough to eat. Some got sick with malaria and jungle rot.

We were more concerned about diseases than bombs, Brodt said.

After the military reconquest of the Philippines in early 1945, most of the command transferred there. She was en route to Manila when the war ended and so did her job.

She was enjoying her independent life, however, so with several other former WACs, she decided to stay overseas and take a civilian personnel job with the occupation staff of Gen. Douglas MacArthur in Tokyo.

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Nebraska native, 101, defied convention: She served in South Pacific, with MacArthur and at NSA - Omaha World-Herald

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Did the NSA spy on Congress? RT The World According to Jesse – RT

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Did the NSA spy on Congress? RT The World According to Jesse - RT

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NSA Ajit Doval reviews situation at India-China border – The New Indian Express


NEW DELHI: National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, along with top officials, reviewed the situation at the India-China border, sources said.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is likely to call another high-level meeting later today, they added.

This comes after the Indian Army thwarted an attempt by the Chinese Army to transgress into Indian areas near the southern bank of Pangong Tso near Chushul in Ladakh on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday.

ALSO READ:India-China border not yet demarcated, there will always be problems, says Foreign Minister Wang Yi

Meanwhile, the meeting of brigade commander of the Indian Army with his Chinese counterpart is underway in Chushul/Moldo to discuss issues related to the situation on the southern bank of Pangong lake, Indian Army sources said.

"On the night of August 29/30, PLA troops violated the previous consensus arrived at during military and diplomatic engagements during the ongoing standoff in Eastern Ladakh and carried out provocative military movements to change the status quo," said Army spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand in a statement on Monday.

India and China are engaged in a standoff since April-May over the transgressions by the Chinese Army in multiple areas including Finger area, Galwan valley, Hot springs and Kongrung Nala.

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NSA Ajit Doval reviews situation at India-China border - The New Indian Express

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NSA Webinar Part 3: Skills Development and the future of learning during and post the Covid-19 pandemic – Mail and Guardian

This was the third part of the NSA Webinar Series: Covid-19 Impact on Education, Skills Development and Training hosted by the National Skills Authority and the Mail & Guardian. It featured Dr Charles Nwaila, Chairperson of the NSA; Buti Manamela, Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation; Zingiswa Losi, President of the Congress of South African Trade Unions; Professor Nirmala Gopal of the University of KwaZulu-Natal Council; and Dr Layla Cassim, Director of Layla Cassim ERS Consultants CC. It was facilitated by NSA Director Dr Thabo Mashongoane.

Dr Charles Nwaila introduced the webinar participants, paid tribute to the role of women in society, and spoke about how Covid-19 has deepened the unemployment and inequality crises in South Africa. Lets invest in women to move South Africa forward, said Nwaile.

Zingiswa Losi opened proceedings with a Cosatu presentation, which outlined how the skills shortage and unemployment already in crisis before the pandemic have been accelerated by Covid-19 and the lockdown. Decisive, urgent steps are required to grow the economy, including a R1-trillion stimulus plan, and the immediate dismissal of any corrupt politician. Skills programmes must match the changing workplace; 4IR is no longer a slogan, but a reality.

Dr Thabo Mashongoane introduced himself, and said that several webinar attendees had congratulated Losi on her presentation in their comments. The long-standing issue of labour brokers is a struggle that continues said Losi. She said that Cosatu has been putting pressure on government to continue with UIF and TERS (Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme) payments into September. The issue of non-implementation of good policies was raised; we indicate left but turn right said Losi; she called on government to stop talking and start taking action.

Buti Manamela said the NSA has been fighting the giant of poverty and that Covid-19 has made the battle tougher; the top priority now is to save lives and the academic year. Distance learning solutions have been implemented since the national state of disaster, but this has brought the economic divide to the fore, as many poor students dont have laptops and data. TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) colleges have taken steps to get lectures online and train lecturers in online and remote presentation skills and blended learning. Groups have also been set up on platforms such as WhatsApp to help students learn together. Online learning will play a bigger role going forward, but universal access is essential: all students must have computers, and data must be available to all. SETAs (Sector Education Training Authorities) must do more. South Africa is resilient and is bouncing back from Covid-19, said Manamela, who added that we are on track to saving the academic year.

Manamela then fielded questions, starting with the student placement programme; he said that the private sector must also come to the party, so that graduates can obtain the required experience to become employed. He said the issue of online connectivity is being addressed by his department and the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Professor Nirmala Gopal said the world is transitioning to a digital economy, and so is South Africa, so skillsets and appropriate infrastructure are essential to boost job creation. We have to embrace 4IR or get left behind, but the challenge is our deficit of skills in South Africa. It is certain that there will be profound and rapid change, and to embrace this, there must be multi-stakeholder alliances between all the role players. Around half of the workforce wont need reskilling, so things are not all doom and gloom. The higher education sector will play a key role in skills development, in fields like genomics and AI, but it cannot do this in isolation.

Strategies must be designed that include effective monitoring and evaluation, that respect freedom and human rights, and match skills with workplace demands. There must be a shift from routine tasks to developing creativity and innovation, the invention of proudly South African products, and workers must continuously update their skills. A paradigm shift is necessary to address the inequality gap: teachers must become facilitators and mentors, staff must learn about things like EQ, students must work together. The basic and higher education systems must speak to each other; the practical component of learning is extremely important. Collaboration is, for Gopal, the key word for educators, students and stakeholders.

Responding to questions, Gopal said that yes, STEM subjects should be taught from ECD level, instead of just in higher education. We have to be creative in how we allocate jobs, she said, and even entrepreneurs must learn to work collaboratively.

Dr Layla Cassim stressed that universities are not different to the rest of society, but rather they are microcosms that manifest broader social problems themselves. She has focused on the effects of Covid-19 on postgraduate students. Her business supports students in research; she has a toolkit on DVD and has been doing online presentations during lockdown; the toolkit is also on the University of Limpopos website. Many postgrads have had to change their research because of the lockdown, using secondary instead of primary data, and a number have struggled because they are depressed or concerned about loved ones, the so-called second wave of the pandemic.

Students have had to resort to innovative methods to collect data, using platforms such as WhatsApp, raising concerns about confidentiality and ethics. There have been delays in funding, and issues of access to computers, laboratories and data. The academic year has been rolled over to next year, creating its own stresses concerning career prospects. Many have been overburdened with workloads, as work has been distributed unequally during the lockdown; many have been unable to focus on their own research because they are busy with, for instance, online marking.

Some staff members have not had their own computers or data, or had to pay from their own pocket for these. Many universities will be adopting a combined approach in future, with much of the work being online. Inequalities socioeconomic and gender have been exaggerated by the lockdown; many women have reported having to take care of the kids, work and study, so they end up working in the early hours of the morning. People with disabilities have reported problems too. Universities have not collaborated as much as they should have in the lockdown, possibly because they compete with each other. Basic resources have been in short supply: some rural universities have not had water, and some students have had to bring toilet paper to varsity in their bags; its difficult to carry out research under such conditions, said Gopal. Many rural universities, students and communities have indeed been left behind.

Nwaila wrapped up the webinar, saying that socioeconomic inequality was a theme that emerged in all the presentations, and can be referred to as a pandemic in itself. He ran through the presentations of each speaker, summarising them and emphasising the most succinct points. He thanked all the speakers and handed over to Mashongoane, who presented the polling results: 60% of participants were worried that AI may lead to a loss of jobs, which is cause for serious concern.

To watch and listen to the webinar, click here: https://event.webinarjam.com/t/click/ryg6vs6raroigkuyv8vsn79an16ug

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NSA Webinar Part 3: Skills Development and the future of learning during and post the Covid-19 pandemic - Mail and Guardian

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ICE Robotics Expands Offering With NSA Partnership – CleanLink

ICE Robotics has introduced the i-Synergy Program, an extended product offering through its partnership with the National Service Alliance (NSA), according to a press release.

ICE Robotics and NSA are helping building service contractors preserve cash flow and provide members financial flexibility during uncertain times with the program, which provides predictability for businesses.

The program is a new way for building service contractors to take advantage of industry leading floor cleaning equipment and lower costs. Some benefits of the program are:

- Special pricing and flexible terms exclusive to members of NSA.

- The elimination of large upfront capital investments through the ICE Robotics Subscription Model, preserving cash flow during times of uncertainty.

- A subscription model that provides access to proactive maintenance, regular software updates, and equipment optimized with lithium ion batteries.

- Intelligent equipment equipped with fleet tracking technology and data to manage usage.

The NSA is excited for the opportunity to provide additional innovations to our members, said the alliance in a press release. "Part of joining our organization is having access to the industrys leading technology and we believe that the i-Synergy program provides a tremendous value to the contract cleaning industry.

Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by CleanLink.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of CleanLink.com or its staff. To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines.

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ICE Robotics Expands Offering With NSA Partnership - CleanLink

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National Security Agency | History, Role, & Surveillance …

National Security Agency (NSA), U.S. intelligence agency within the Department of Defense that is responsible for cryptographic and communications intelligence and security. Its headquarters are in Fort Meade, Maryland.

Britannica Quiz

World Organizations: Fact or Fiction?

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is limited to European countries.

The NSA grew out of the communications intelligence activities of U.S. military units during World War II. It was established in 1952 by a presidential directive from Harry S. Truman in which he specified its mission as

to provide an effective, unified organization and control of the communications intelligence activities of the United States conducted against foreign governments, to provide for integrated operational policies and procedures pertaining thereto.

The NSA was created in part out of the belief that the importance and distinct character of communications intelligence warranted an organization distinct from both the armed forces and the other intelligence agencies. While it operates within the Department of Defense, the NSA also belongs to the Intelligence Community (a coalition of 17 intelligence agencies) and as such acts under the supervision of the director of national intelligence. The director of the NSA is a military officer of flag rank (i.e., a general or an admiral) with a minimum of three stars. Not being a creation of Congress, the NSA often acts outside of congressional review; it is the most secret of all U.S. intelligence agencies.

The agencys mission includes the protection and formulation of codes, ciphers, and other cryptology for the U.S. military and other government agencies as well as the interception, analysis, and solution of coded transmissions by electronic or other means. The agency conducts research into all forms of electronic transmissions. It also operates posts for the interception of signals around the world. In 1972 a joint organization, the Central Security Service (CSS), was created to coordinate the intelligence efforts of the NSA with the U.S. military. The director of the NSA also heads the CSS (under the title of Chief, CSS).

The 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) restricts the NSA mandate to the interception of foreign communications and forbids the agency from targeting a U.S. citizen unless the latter is considered an agent of a foreign power. In exceptional cases that are considered critical to national security, the agency can obtain a warrant to intercept domestic communications. In 2008, amendments to FISA relaxed those restrictions and allowed the agency to monitor domestic communications without a warrant as long as one party is reasonably believed to be outside the United States.

In 2013 NSA activities were put in the limelight after a former computer security contractor, Edward Snowden, leaked classified information about two surveillance programsone collecting information from U.S. Internet service providers (PRISM) and the second collecting so-called metadata on cellular phone calls (information including phone numbers and length of the calls but not their content). Those programs were designed to target non-Americans, but they also collected a massive amount of information from Americans with whom those individuals had communicated. Other NSA programs included the extensive, worldwide, and allegedly untargeted collection of text messages (Dishfire) and of the locations of cell phones.

While less known to the American public than the Central Intelligence Agency, the NSA is believed to be far larger in size in terms of workforce and budget. According to Michael Hayden, a former director (19992005) of the NSA, it is also the worlds largest collector of foreign signals intelligence.

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The NSA and FBI Expose Fancy Bear’s Sneaky Hacking Tool – WIRED

Last weekend, during and in the aftermath of a contentious presidential election, the country of Belarus effectively shut off access to most of the internet for its 9.5 million citizens. It's a tactic that has become increasingly popular among authoritarian regimes, whether it's a total blackout like Belarus' or more targeted censorship of specific apps like Telegram and WhatsApp. The outage lasted around three days, although some sites remain blocked.

Elsewhere, we took a look at an Alexa bug that could have let a hacker access your entire voice history. It's patched now, but it's a good reminder to be careful what you say around your voice assistant. Covid-19 scams are so abundant that even ISIS allegedly got in on the grift with a site called FaceMaskCenter.com. And flaws in Qualcomm's ubiquitous Snapdragon chips put over a billion Android devices at risk. A fix has been issued, but those can take some time to trickle down to individual users.

Speaking of flaws, mistakes in open-source libraries could have exposed cryptocurrency exchanges to denial-of-service attacks or worse. A British AI tool intended to predict violent crime turned out not to work as advertised. And we looked at the increasingly sophisticated methods ATM hackers have used for "jackpotting," which is when they make the money machine go brrrrr.

We continued our Dark Patterns series with a dive into how Facebook and other social media sites capture your attentionand erode your privacy. And in the magazine we detailed the FBI's heart-pounding hunt for Cesar Sayoc, known as the "MAGA bomber."

And there's more! Every Saturday we round up the security and privacy stories that we didnt break or report on in depth but think you should know about. Click on the headlines to read them, and stay safe out there.

The National Security Agency is not known for being especially chatty. But it has made some useful public overtures of late; last week it offered tips to limit location tracking on your smartphone, and this week it followed up by going public with sneaky new Russian malware it discovered alongside the FBI. The announcement links the so-called Drovorub malware to Fancy Bear, the elite hacking group behind the hack of the Democratic National Committee in 2016 and more. Russia allegedly used Drovorub to plant backdoors; the versatile malware consisted of an implant, kernel module rootkit, file transfer and port forwarding tool, and command and control server. By shining a light on the malware, the US agencies hope to better enable potential targets to defend themselves.

The Wall Street Journal this week reported that TikTok used a banned method to track users for advertising purposes until last November. TikTok collected so-called MAC addresses using a security loophole that let it circumvent measures Android has in place to prevent that behavior. A MAC address is significant because it can be used to track a user even if they uninstall an app and reinstall it later. Perhaps more significant, though, is a line is the Journal report that TikTok sent those MAC addresses and other data back to ByteDance, the app's Chinese parent company. TikTok has repeatedly insisted that it does not, has not, and will not share user data with ByteDance. President Donald Trump has ordered ByteDance to sell TikTok by September 15, or the administration will take steps to shut down the app in the US.

In the era of 4G, many mobile phone conversations happen over Voice over LTE. Not only does VoLTE offer more bandwidth than the 3G calls of yesteryear, it also has a built-in layer of encryption that protects your calls from snoops. A team of researchers, though, has figured out how to undermine that security, using radio equipment that costs about $7,000 to grab that encrypted data as it heads to a cell tower and unscramble it. The attack has some important limitations, but it's a good reminder that modern telephony still has more than its share of security holesand 5G isn't looking that much better.

Motherboard this week took a deep dive down the rabbit hole of Russian SIMs, also known as white SIMs, that let criminals spoof phone numbers at will, or in some cases allow for real-time voice manipulation. While not illegal in and of themselves, the SIMs are a boon to phishing scams and other social engineering attacks.

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The NSA and FBI Expose Fancy Bear's Sneaky Hacking Tool - WIRED

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