[cryptography] Is the NSA now a civilian intelligence agency? (Was: Re: Snowden: Fabricating Digital Keys?)

ianG iang at iang.org
Mon Jul 1 04:37:09 EDT 2013

Hmmm.  Thanks, Ethan!  Maybe I'm wrong?  Maybe the NSA was always 
allowed to pass criminal evidence across to the civilian police forces. 
  It's a very strange world.


On 1/07/13 06:12 AM, Ethan Heilman wrote:
>  >The way I read that (and combined with the overall disclosures that
> they are basically collecting everything they can get their hands on)
> the NSA has now been de-militarised, or civilianised if you prefer that
> term. In the sense that, information regarding criminal activity is now
> being shared with the FBI & friends.  Routinely, albeit secretly and
> deniably.
> The NSA became "demilitarised" that is, involved in civilian law
> enforcement, when it stopped being the AFSA  (Armed Forces Security
> Agency) and the NSA was "created" in 1952. But even prior to that in
> it's earlier form as the AFSA, ASA, and etc, the NSA did some civil law
> enforcement work with the FBI. For example Project Shamrock which
> started in 1945 (seven years before the AFSA became the NSA) involved:
>     "Intercepted messages were disseminated to the FBI, CIA, Secret
>     Service, Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD), and the
>     Department of Defense."
> Earlier forms of the NSA were also involved in cryptanalysis of pirate
> radio stations and prohibition era "booze barons".
> The case of their abuses was Project MINARET 1967-1975 which spied on US
> citizens that suspected of being dissidents or involved in drug
> smuggling. This information was passed on to the FBI and local law
> enforcement.
>       Project MINARET that uses “watch lists” to electronically and
>     physically spy on “subversive” activities by civil rights and
>     antiwar leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Jane Fonda,
>     Malcolm X, Dr. Benjamin Spock, and Joan Baez—all members of Richard
>     Nixon’s infamous “enemies list.”
> The NSA has been a civil law enforcement organisation in practice if not
> always in principal since before it's inception (its charter broadened
> its role beyond its previous role as a military support organisation).

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