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[liberationtech] NSA's crypto city

Shava Nerad shava23 at gmail.com
Thu Jul 11 21:37:50 PDT 2013


For those who think it's unlikely that a staff of 5000 would be involved in
something called crypto staff for the NSA?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#Headquarters

NSA is the largest employer in the U.S. state of Maryland, and two-thirds
of its personnel work at Ft.
Meade.[20]<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-Barnett-20>
Built
on 350 acres (140 ha; 0.55 sq
mi)[21]<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-Gorman-21>
of
Ft. Meade's 5,000 acres (2,000 ha; 7.8 sq
mi),[22]<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-22>
the
site has 1,300 buildings and an estimated 18,000 parking
spaces.[23]<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-23>
[24] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-24>
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NSA_Employees_only.JPG>
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NSA_Employees_only.JPG>
An exit sign for NSA employees along theBaltimore-Washington
Parkway<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltimore-Washington_Parkway>

The main NSA headquarters and operations building is what James
Bamford<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Bamford>,
author of *Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security
Agency<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_of_Secrets:_Anatomy_of_the_Ultra-Secret_National_Security_Agency>
*, describes as "a modern boxy structure" that appears similar to "any
stylish office building."[25]<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-BamfordBodyofSecretsp488-25>
which
is covered with one-way dark
glass.[25]<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-BamfordBodyofSecretsp488-25>
The
building has 3,000,000 square feet (280,000 m2), or more than 68 acres
(28 ha), of floor space. Bamford said that the U.S.
Capitol<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Capitol> "could
easily fit inside it four times
over."[25]<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-BamfordBodyofSecretsp488-25>
Under
the outside glass the building uses copper shielding to trap in any signals
and sounds to prevent
espionage.[25]<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-BamfordBodyofSecretsp488-25>
The
facility has over 100
watchposts,[26]<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-BamfordBodyofSecretsp488489-26>
one
of them being the visitor control center, a two-story area that serves as
the entrance.[25]<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-BamfordBodyofSecretsp488-25>
At
the entrance, a white pentagonal
structure,[27]<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-BamfordBodyofSecretsp490-27>
visitor
badges are issued to visitors, and security clearances of employees are
checked.[28]<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-BamfordBodyofSecretsp489-28>
The
visitor center includes a painting of the NSA
seal.[27]<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-BamfordBodyofSecretsp490-27>
The
OPS2A building, the tallest building in the NSA complex and the location of
much of the agency's operations directorate, is accessible from the visitor
center. Bamford described it as a "dark glass Rubik's
Cube<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubik%27s_Cube>
".[29] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-29> The
facility's "red corridor" houses non-security operations such as
concessions and the drug store. The name refers to the "red badge" which is
worn by someone without a security clearance. The NSA headquarters includes
a cafeteria, a credit union, ticket counters for airlines and
entertainment, a barbershop, and a
bank.[27]<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-BamfordBodyofSecretsp490-27>
NSA
headquarters has its own post office, fire department, and police
force.[30]<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-Bamford-Alexander-30>

I know our cyberwarrior said he worked in an unmarked building in Virginia.
 But I just wanted to post this as support for my testimony that there is a
lot of NSA in the area.  A *lot*.  And that this place is called, "Crypto
City."  It's a term of affection, since, what, the 80s at least when
Bamford wrote about it, when I first heard the term.  Certainly not all
0day archgeeks. ;)

May I repeat that first sentence:

*The NSA is the largest employer in the US State of Maryland.*

Chew on that.

yrs,
-- 

Shava Nerad
shava23 at gmail.com
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