Sunday, November 25, 2012

"We Know Nothing." NSA on the Paeterus Resignation

The day of David Paeterus’ resignation, FOIA requests were submitted to various intelligence agencies seeking their records regarding his decision.  The National Security Agency was the first to response with a “no records response. In addition to claiming to have zero records regarding the matter, the National Security Agency went on record to explain that having such records is not within the scope of their mission which “are set at the highest level of government”.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The 2013 Center for Cryptologic History Calendar

Yesterday, I posted a copy of the Center for Cryptologic History’s official 2012 calendar. Today, I post the print-version of the official 2013 Center for Cryptologic History’s. With regard to historical tidbits, trivia, and factoids, there is almost complete overlap between the 2012 and 2013 calendars. However, the 2013 calendar has an entirely new set of pictures.  

It seems that David Kahn has been promoted to “noted cryptologic historian” for the 2013 calendar year.  This promotion further serves as evidence of domestication of David Kahn. In the 1960s, Kahn wrote Code Breakers and defied demands by the NSA to redact information from his book by secreting away the footnotes to the information the NSA demanded be removed.  Now, the NSA owns his private collection and calls him a “noted cryptologic historian’.
2013 CCH Calender

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The 2012 Center for Cryptologic History Calendar

It seems a little late in the year for a 2012 calendar to be of much use, however the Center for Cryptologic History's 2012 calendar will be good for years to come. The calendar is filled with rare pictures about the NSA and is positively brimming with historical facts relating to the NSA, SIGINT, COMINT, and Cryptologic history to list just a few topics. 
2012 CCH Calendar

Presidential Transition 2001: NSA Briefs a New Administration

Released in response to a FOIA request, Presidential Transition 2001: NSA Briefs a New Administration is a history of the National Security Agency’s decision to brief- for the first time- the president-elect on the Agency, its operations, and related matters.  Twenty-three pages in length, it is well-written, easy read with minimum redactions that provides both a- complete- as- possible- picture of the events in question and numerous amusing nuggets of fact. Other than some excessive background information on the electoral process, this work is with major issue.

Among the factoids learned in this work is the fact that Harry S Truman allowed Dwight D. Eisenhower access to SIGINT intelligence during the intelligence briefing that occurred in 1952 campaign but not his own party’s nominee due to Eisenhower’s prior use of COMINT/SIGINT during the Second World War; George Bush’s enthusiasm for NSA briefings. His request: “Great stuff! Keep it coming,” resulted in over 200 “serialized briefings” being given to his transition; and Hubert Humphrey’s 1967 visit to the NSA was the first by a vice president and the last until Dick Cheney arrived in 2001. 

Presidential Transitions 2001

Monday, October 1, 2012

NSA Releases Cryptologic Quarterly Index

In response to a FOIA request, the National Security Agency has released an index of its Cryptologic Quarterly articles from the 1980s through 2010. Covering topics from "Applied Wavelet Analysis to the Zimmerman Telegram, the index provides a glimpse into the academic and intellectual activities of the NSA staff. 

The index, alphabetized by title has largely been declassified and there minimum redactions to titles or the keyword index with only a small percentage of the titles withheld in their entirety. The NSA, however, invoked the b(3) exemption so most of the authors are unknown. Those authors whose identities were revealed are mostly associated with the Center for Cryptologic History though some were written by prominent NSA figures such as Frank B. Rowlett, Howard H. Campaigne, and former DIRNSA William Studeman.
Cryptologic Quarterly Article List