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The National Security Agency (NSA) is an entity of the U.S. Department of Defense and an element of the U.S. Intelligence Community that was officially established after World War II. Since that time, it has undertaken two principal missions vital to the security of the United States: (1) signals intelligence (SIGINT) and (2) information assurance. The agency has also been integrated with the U.S. Central Security Service, which consists of the various U.S. military intelligence units involved in clandestine cryptologic efforts such as code making and code breaking. The NSA/U.S. Central Security Service collected information concerning foreign intelligence activities throughout the Cold War. Following the terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001, the agency’s activities have been focused primarily on obtaining relevant information ...

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