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[liberationtech] NSA's crypto city

James S. Tyre jstyre at eff.org
Thu Jul 11 21:43:52 PDT 2013


Oddly, a former NSA operative I know was, while still with NSA, the Mayor of the nearby
town in which he lived.  Perhaps his colleagues stuffed the ballot box for him.  '-)

 

--

James S. Tyre

Law Offices of James S. Tyre

10736 Jefferson Blvd., #512

Culver City, CA 90230-4969

310-839-4114/310-839-4602(fax)

jstyre at jstyre.com

Policy Fellow, Electronic Frontier Foundation

https://www.eff.org

 

From: liberationtech-bounces at lists.stanford.edu
[mailto:liberationtech-bounces at lists.stanford.edu] On Behalf Of Shava Nerad
Sent: Thursday, July 11, 2013 9:38 PM
To: Liberation Technologies
Subject: [liberationtech] NSA's crypto city

 

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.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-Barnett-20> [20] Built on
350 acres (140 ha; 0.55 sq mi)
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-Gorman-21> [21] of Ft.
Meade's 5,000 acres (2,000 ha; 7.8 sq mi),
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-22> [22] the site has
1,300 buildings and an estimated 18,000 parking spaces.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-23> [23]
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-24> [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 the
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltimore-Washington_Parkway> Baltimore-Washington Parkway

The main NSA headquarters and operations building is what
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Bamford> James Bamford, author of
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_of_Secrets:_Anatomy_of_the_Ultra-Secret_National_Securi
ty_Agency> 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."
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-BamfordBodyofSecretsp488-
25> [25] which is covered with one-way dark glass.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-BamfordBodyofSecretsp488-
25> [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  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Capitol>
U.S. Capitol "could easily fit inside it four times over."
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-BamfordBodyofSecretsp488-
25> [25] Under the outside glass the building uses copper shielding to trap in any signals
and sounds to prevent espionage.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-BamfordBodyofSecretsp488-
25> [25] The facility has over 100 watchposts,
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-BamfordBodyofSecretsp4884
89-26> [26] one of them being the visitor control center, a two-story area that serves as
the entrance.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-BamfordBodyofSecretsp488-
25> [25] At the entrance, a white pentagonal structure,
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-BamfordBodyofSecretsp490-
27> [27] visitor badges are issued to visitors, and security clearances of employees are
checked.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-BamfordBodyofSecretsp489-
28> [28] The visitor center includes a painting of the NSA seal.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-BamfordBodyofSecretsp490-
27> [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  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubik%27s_Cube>
Rubik's Cube". <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-29> [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.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-BamfordBodyofSecretsp490-
27> [27] NSA headquarters has its own post office, fire department, and police force.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency#cite_note-Bamford-Alexander-30>
[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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