National Security Agency (NSA)

National Security Agency (NSA)

Overview of the National Security Agency

The National Security Agency (NSA) was created on November 4th, 1952 under President Harry S. Truman. The NSA is a cryptology intelligence agency of the United States Government.  The National Security Agency is administered as part of the United States Department of Defense.


The National Security Agency (NSA) is responsible for the collection and analysis of foreign communications and foreign signals intelligence, which involves the process of cryptanalysis.  The agency is also responsible for protecting United States government communications and information systems from similar agencies elsewhere, which involves the process of cryptography.

The NSA is a key component of the U.S. Intelligence Community, which is headed by the Director of National Intelligence.

The NSA’s work is limited to communications intelligence; it does not perform field or human intelligence activities.

As of 2008, the National Security Agency has been directed to help monitor U.S. federal agency computer networks to protect them against attacks from other countries and terrorist organizations. The department is directed by a lieutenant general or vice admiral.

The Central Security Service (CSS)

The Central Security Service is a co-located agency created to coordinate intelligence activities and co-operation between the NSA and U.S. military cryptanalysis agencies.

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