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Re: NSA, NRO, and Keeping Secrets

On Thu, 3 Aug 1995, Timothy C. May wrote:

> Date: Thu, 3 Aug 1995 13:49:35 -0700
> From: Timothy C. May <[email protected]>
> To: Childers James <[email protected]>, Jim Ray <[email protected]>
> Cc: [email protected]
> Subject: NSA, NRO, and Keeping Secrets
> At 7:50 PM 8/3/95, Childers James wrote:
> >I'm afraid I don't follow. Are you saying that the NSA is assuming a more
> >public role because (apparently) stong crypto is now widely available to
> >the public? I don't see the connection between A and B if this is what
> >you are claiming.
> >
> >Unless they're gearing up for a PR campaign... I wonder how the NSA has
> >been portrayed in Hollywood in the past. I've just seen them mentioned in
> >one movie I can think about ("Crimson Tide"). Anyone else know of references?
> The NSA has been mentioned in many recent movies, even in television shows
> (like "The X Files"). I haven't been keeping a list, but the last Clancy
> movie, "A Clear and Present Danger," had references. And in more than one
> movie the reference to "NSA agents" doing various things is made.
> The NSA has a high profile today. "No Such Agency" is clearly marked as an
> exit on the Baltimore-Washington highway, and of course even has a museum
> open to the public.
> Even the National Reconnaissance Organization is public knowledge, partly
> because of the Burrows book "Deep Black," and partly because of the
> controversy over the huge building out near Dulles Airport.
> Some things are mostly secret, though. The cover of Consular Operations was
> almost blown some years back by former agent Ludlum, but ConsOps has faded
> back into obscurity.

Then there are the e-systems like companies, operating in the U.S., often 
conducting operations under the guise of corporations yet ducking below 
the umbrella of "classified information" at the first sign of a suit.  
Yet, the employees walk about armed and turn up with bugging equipment in 
drug trafficker's neighborhoods.  e-systems is just the latest to be 
under public scrutiny.

Is it any wonder the government has begun to lean heavily on corporations 
where traditional institutional secrecy has been circumvented by FOIA and 

Hell, e-systems is publically traded, dekalg has been talking about 
initial public offerings for months.

There is perhaps more protection in the corporation of former 
intelligence types than in any agency.

I commented before that NRO and NSA were public relations savvy now because 
most of the deeply hidden projects had found their way elsewhere.

> --Tim May
> ..........................................................................
> Timothy C. May         | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
> [email protected]   | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
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