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National Security Agency

The National Security Agency (NSA) was established on November 4, 1952, by means of a classified memorandum from President Harry Truman to the secretaries of defense and state. Created to address clear flaws in the ability of the U.S. government to collect and analyze communications intelligence, today the NSA is the cryptologic organization for the United States. Its responsibility is to protect U.S. national security information systems domestically; abroad, those responsibilities include collecting and disseminating foreign signals intelligence by means of cryptanalysis, cryptography, mathematics, computer science, and foreign language analysis.

Strategic Mission of the NSA

The NSA’s strategic mission is twofold. The first of these is to use “signals”—communications, be they verbal, electronic, or written—from foreign organizations, persons, or states to collect intelligence on those organizations, ...

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