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Re: What the NSA is patenting

>(Used to be they just kept stuff secret; now they patent some of it.)
>United States Patent                   Patent Number:  5264794
>                                       Date of Patent: 23 Nov 1993
>Method of measuring magnetic fields on magnetically recorded media using a
>scanning tunneling microscope and magnetic probe
>Inventor(s):  Burke, Edward R., Silver Spring, MD, United States
>              Mayergoyz, Isaak D., Rockville, MD, United States
>              Adly, Amr A., Hyattsville, MD, United States
>              Gomez, Romel D., Beltsville, MD, United States
>Assignee:     The United States of America as represented by the Director,
>              National Security Agency, Washington, DC, United
>              States (U.S. government)
That isn't NSA research, it was merely sponsored by the NSA.  Those are all
university people who have published their work on MFSTM in journals, papers,
and theses (I used some of it in my paper at the Usenix Security Symposium, and
two of the images in my talk were provided by one of Mel Gomez' students). 
What the NSA is doing in this area is still classified (although I suspect the
techology isn't much different from what's publicly available), in this case
all they were doing was protecting their investment (just like the various PKC
patents originally assigned to universities).