NSA Has a Technology Transfer Program


The National Security Agency has established a formal technology transfer mechanism for openly sharing technologies with the external community. Our scientists and engineers, along with our academic and research partners, have developed cutting-edge technologies, which have not only satisfied our mission requirements, but have also served to improve the global technological leadership of the United States. In addition, these technical advances have contributed to the creation and improvement of many commercial products in America.

Look at their 44 Technology Profile Fact Sheets.

Posted on January 27, 2006 at 7:03 AM • 28 Comments


mpdJanuary 27, 2006 7:57 AM

I like item 24: Tape Dispenser

One that missed the list:
Coffee mug - Knowing what our nation's intelligence agencies drink could aid our enemies in the war on terror. With the new security-enhanced coffee mug, the contents of the mug remain secret and secure. Is it coffee? Or maybe it's tea? Perhaps even... water. Never again release sensitive beverage information to untrusted entities.

Paul ThomasJanuary 27, 2006 8:43 AM

I like the way the "Web Experience Solution" link is dead. Not much of a solution really...

Neil BartlettJanuary 27, 2006 8:43 AM

Given the wording of the quote ("improve the... leadership of the United States", "improvements of commercial products in America", etc), I wonder if the technology transfer process is only open to American companies?

AqualungJanuary 27, 2006 8:46 AM

mpd: The tape dispenser is for 'security tape' which is apparently designed to show evidence of tampering (i.e. having been unsealed and/or resealed). Apparently a traditional tape dispenser can cause false positives with this system. Reading the description it's pretty different from a traditional dispenser.

I found the entry on the transliterated names system interesting. I would imagine that this is an algorithm not unlike Knuth's soundex algorithm. I wonder how it compares.

mpdJanuary 27, 2006 8:56 AM


Yeah I know. I was just fooling around. The title "Tape Dispenser" makes it sound too mundane for it to be developed by the NSA.

Alexandre CARMEL-VEILLEUXJanuary 27, 2006 9:28 AM

I saw their NGT video (the 1st technology on the list) back in 2003/2004 and it was pretty interesting. They have some smart people working there.

Glauber RibeiroJanuary 27, 2006 10:27 AM

The standard contract says: "we will tell you, but then we will have to kill you."

thabobJanuary 27, 2006 10:41 AM

I feel more intellectual masturbation pleasure surfing ieeeXplore than watchin NSA videos. This sounds like junk for noob.

"[...] random bit sequence bm,n is created locally by the circuit that needs it according to the formula "

thabobJanuary 27, 2006 10:44 AM


"[...] random bit sequence bm,n is created locally by the circuit that needs it according to the formula " + (broken link)

I guess your html filter just broke my post

another_bruceJanuary 27, 2006 12:02 PM

some of these are pretty good:
2. shredder residue dispersion system
i use shredder residue to mulch plants. who knew that the master codebreakers were so concerned about the shredder bin?
10. multiverse
when just the universe isn't enough. i've heard a lot of speculation about parallel universes and am happy to see my tax dollars shining light on this fascinating subject.
12. battery isolater and switch
when my flashlight stopped working, i isolated the batteries in a trashcan and switched in new ones. i don't have to do this anymore?
20. method for storage and reconstruction of the extended hamming code for an 8-dimensional lattice quantizer
i've got three dimensions here in my kitchen and another one in my wristwatch. nsa has doubled this?
22. method of summarizing text using just the text
i am way ahead of the nsa on this one, in college i used to summarize text just by deleting all the articles and prepositions. not all of my professors appreciated this.

AGJanuary 27, 2006 12:40 PM


Do you know what this is really about?

The NSA has lost support because of the wiretapping hoopla. On top of the LONG line of failed intelligence(in the eyes of the public).
Therefore lost Support equals lost Money

Answer? GO PUBLIC!!!

AGJanuary 27, 2006 12:43 PM

Awesome I just thought of something else!

Bush always tells someone how great they work is right before he fires them!

Colin Powell, Tenet, the FEMA guy...

Didn't he give a news conference a week or two ago saying how great the NSA was?

Freedom medals for everyone in the NSA!!!

Josh OJanuary 27, 2006 1:11 PM

On the page titled "Wafer and Die Thinning Technology", they appear to have invented a way of storing data in the earth itself. They call it: "Light Weight TERRA BIT Memories".

Davi OttenheimerJanuary 27, 2006 1:15 PM

Check out the description on #1:

"Technical Challenge: Determining the physical geo-location for a logical network address. [...] Potential Commercial Application(s): Any service interested in locating users in a computer network. (e.g. Advertising, Marketing, etc.)"

Ah, the fine line between spying and marketing.

The patent explains use of latency for estimating a position:

Personally, I prefer the suggestion that ISPs could use this to detect authentication anomalies, but the privacy implications of the data are obviously a worry.

ElvisJanuary 27, 2006 1:40 PM

Look at what key you press on the tape dispenser to make the tape come out. That made me feel much better about my tax $$

KeesJanuary 27, 2006 5:35 PM

What if the NSA focussed all their energy on catching spammers like "No Fax Cash Advance"?

Now THAT would make the world a better place!

meJanuary 28, 2006 1:18 AM

you won't find much by googling them, but the nsa *has* answered a lot of problems like:

High bandwidth IDS systems (sorry kids, snort sucks): 'the nids'

Passive OS Fingerprinting: 'trickler'

so on and so forth, they're pretty smart, don't fool yourself.

Davi OttenheimerJanuary 28, 2006 4:15 PM

"High bandwidth IDS systems"

yeah, that's mentioned as #29 in the list, no need to google:

"snort sucks"

just what it's designed to do, eh? basically all IDS suck and have bandwidth issues, but that's just the nature of a rapidly emerging market. besides, shouldn't you be comparing the heavily subsidized research at the NSA with sourcefire, rather than snort?

dudeJanuary 28, 2006 11:32 PM

Actually, it's a pretty good way to find out about all the people who care enough about the NSA to visit their Web site . . .

RichJanuary 29, 2006 10:23 PM

Nothing like "Method of Efficiently Increasing Readability of FrameMaker Graphical User Interface" as a crucial technology for homeland security.

JoshJanuary 30, 2006 8:20 AM

It looks like the real deal -- they're describing cool algorithms and optical devices! A brief perusal suggests that some of these are actually useful to the "rest of us."

john bomhardtJune 17, 2010 12:45 AM

going through the wormhole is doable through optics which are utilized by travelers in a extremely low light environment. Human vision is modified and whole brain thinking is essential and a special navigation chart is also the only way to go such vast distances. I have withheld this information until now. I assure you at your request i will be willing to demonstrate and explain all aspects of this travel system.

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