NSA looking to build 5.8 million square feet by 2029

NSA HQ

NSA HQ

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
The US National Security Agency filed a notice in last month’s Federal Register, 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, and staff it with 11,000 people. The Baltimore Business Journal and The Baltimore Sun, which first spotted the notice, said the NSA will not say how many of the 11,000 jobs will be new. The Sun asked the gigantic agency, which already employs over 25,000 people around Baltimore alone, for more details on its plans. But the NSA, which is tasked by the US government with worldwide communications surveillance as well as communications security, merely repeated the information contained in the Federal Register, saying it needs new buildings to “meet mission growth requirements” and to “consolidate” its output. Officials in Anne Arundel county, where Fort Meade is located, said they held “informal discussions with the agency” and were told to anticipate “about 4,000 jobs in the next four or five years”. But Matthew M. Aid, author of the recent book The Secret Sentry: The Untold History of the National Security Agency, told The Sun that the NSA is probably planning to relocate the nearly 5,000 people working in unmarked offices around Anne Arundel county back to its Fort Meade campus. The goal behind the relocation plan is to alleviate security concerns and cut down on leasing expenses, said Aid. Critics of the NSA, including James Bamford, have interpreted the Agency’s plans for growth, typified by its new data storage facilities in Texas and Utah, as resulting from the Bush administration’s decision “to open the NSA’s surveillance floodgates following the 9/11 attacks”.

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

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