Analysis: NSA emerging as the world’s most powerful spy agency

James Bamford

James Bamford

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Regular readers of this blog know that the US National Security Agency is in the process of renovating its soon-to-be-unveiled Texas Cryptology Center, a 470,000-square-foot facility that will cost “upwards of $130 million” and be used primarily to store intercepted communications data. They also know that the gigantic Agency, which is tasked with worldwide communications surveillance, as well as communications security, is also building a 1 million square foot data center at Utah’s Camp Williams. Finally, as we reported last August, the NSA is currently laying out a 20-year plan to construct 5.8 million square feet of new working and storage space on its Fort George G. Meade headquarters in Maryland, and staff it with 11,000 people. What does all this mean? In a review of Matthew M. Aid’s recent book The Secret Sentry: The Untold History of the National Security Agency, James Bamford points out that NSA’s growth is part of a wider “seismic shift [in the] tectonic plates beneath the American intelligence community” in the post-9/11 era. And not only did the NSA survive the earthquake, says Bamford, but it emerged as the most powerful spy agency “the world has ever known”, as well as its “most lavish spender”. Bamford’s article, published in the current edition of The New York Review of Books, can be read here.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

2 Responses to Analysis: NSA emerging as the world’s most powerful spy agency

  1. Lindy Sisk says:

    From the article: “Finally, as we reported last August, the NSA is currently laying out a 20-year plan to construct 5.8 square feet of new working and storage space on its Fort George G. Meade headquarters in Maryland, and staff it with 11,000 people.”

    I suspect that cramming 11K people into 5.8 square feet is going to be a challenge.

  2. intelNews says:

    Never underestimate the NSA! Error corrected, thanks. [JF]

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