Recently Declassified NSA History Document

"American Cryptography During the Cold War 1945-1989; Book IV: Cryptologic Rebirth 1981-1989." Document was first declassified in 2009. Here are some newly declassified pages.

Posted on March 7, 2011 at 6:47 AM • 21 Comments

Comments

Imperfect CitizenMarch 7, 2011 10:07 AM

I wonder what was in the blanks the NSA had for describing Bamford's book? Expletives deleted?

BF SkinnerMarch 7, 2011 11:05 AM

how can a line or paragraph originally classified as and marked Unclassified have ANY information still be redactable under PL 86-36? And which part of the act applies exactly Sec. 17. (a)? or appointment of an SES or paying for undergrad schoolin'

BF SkinnerMarch 7, 2011 11:11 AM

Another note once S/SI references something "an article" mayhap? in Cryptographic quarterly. Spring 97 pp 75-89.

but the released copies are
•The BS Attitudes: How Things Work in Bureaucracies
Winter 1996 - Vol. 15, No. 4

And then skip to

•Intelligence Analysis: Does NSA Have What It Takes
Spring/Summer 2001-Vol. 20, Nos. 1-2

What happened between 96 and 2001?

RHMarch 7, 2011 12:17 PM

@ BF Skinner: I haven't read the exact wording of PL 86-36, but I do know there is a class of information which is unclassified but not for public release. It doesn't make sense to me that that information would instantly become public release just because the classification has ended.

ArctusMarch 7, 2011 12:41 PM

Not only that Bruce doesn't review comments on his blog, he doesn't even take courtesy to review his own posts. Bruce, Bruce

mooMarch 7, 2011 2:25 PM

@Arctus.

I know! While we're complaining, I should inform you all that I now have a pet rock named Bruce.

I named him that because when I hit him, he doesn't Bruce.

Richard Steven HackMarch 7, 2011 4:06 PM

"Not only that Bruce doesn't review comments on his blog, he doesn't even take courtesy to review his own posts."

You've obviously never been to Matt Yglesias' political blog. Compared to him, Bruce is a model blogger.

By the way, to champion Bruce, I'm adding him to the pantheon of the Tao of Bruce.

What is that, you say?

The Tao of Bruce is the philosophy that whenever you don't know what to do, you ask: What would Bruce do?

Bruce Wayne. Bruce Lee. Bruce Campbell.

And now I've added Bruce Schneier to that pantheon of Modern Masters.

BF SkinnerMarch 7, 2011 4:33 PM

So they're citing "Specifically, Section 6 of the National Security Agency Act of 1959, Public Law 86-36 (50 U.S.C. § 402 note) protects NSA/Central Security Service (CSS) functions and activities as well as the names fNSA/CSS employees from disclosure."

As the reason Unclass material is being withheld. Is that forever? as long as they live? as long as they can remember? As long as NSA can remember or as long as they are employed? Hmmmm...

Still "Oliver North, an obscure Marine lieutenant colonel"

Richard Steven HackMarch 7, 2011 4:38 PM

Offtopic in this thread, but...

At Least 27 Honolulu TSA Officers Under Probe
Some Checked Luggage Went Un-Screened For Months, Sources Say
:http://www.kitv.com/r/27048822/detail.html

Quotes

Baggage there was supposed to be opened up and checked for traces of explosives, but sources said many pieces of luggage were never checked. In some cases, TSA agents simply marked suitcases as having been screened when those checked bags had not been checked at all, according to people familiar with the investigation.

Sources said baggage checked on nine daily morning departures from Lobby 4 were not properly screened, a situation that could have lasted as long as four months, meaning thousands of suitcases went unchecked.

TSA spokesman Nico Melendez released a statement to KITV 4 News that said the agency "is taking appropriate disciplinary action against several TSA officers following an extensive investigation into allegations of improper screening."

"We took immediate action [4 months later - My Note] and none of the personnel accused have been conducting screening duties since the allegations were made," Melendez said. [Have they been fired? - My Note] “TSA is proud to hold our workforce to the highest ethical standards and will not tolerate a deviation from the commitment to carry out our mission to protect the traveling public.”

The TSA said the problems should be put in perspective because they happened at one of Honolulu airport's 12 baggage security screening areas and the 27 or so TSA employees under investigation make up a small fraction of the agency's 750 employees in Honolulu.

[I'm so relieved - my note]

Sources close to the investigation said two Honolulu TSA employees tipped off officials to the problems, starting the probe, which has lasted two months. [It took 2 months to prove what should have been visually obvious in 2 minutes? - My note.]

One source close to the investigation said TSA managers were unaware of the screening deficiencies because TSA officers would always do their screening work properly when management was present. [DUH! Has the TSA never heard of undercover investigators? - My Note]

But TSA employees point out two shift supervisors were in the lobby all the time and they had to know that checked bags were not going through the proper screening. [Roh-Roh! - My Note]

The TSA has been using overtime to cover the shifts of the accused employees who’ve been removed from screening duties during the investigation for the past two months, sources said. [More of your tax dollars - My Note] They’ve continued to be paid and have reported to work in their uniforms but have been doing “non-screening duties,” according to Melendez. ["Effectively", I'm sure. - My Note]

End Quotes

Richard Steven HackMarch 7, 2011 5:18 PM

This one is fun! "Mobile strip search" vehicles!

Documents Reveal TSA Research Proposal To Body-Scan Pedestrians, Train Passengers
:http://blogs.forbes.com/andygreenberg/2011/03/02/docs-reveal-tsa-plan-to-body-scan-pedestrians-train-passengers/

^i9&jxD1'March 8, 2011 3:33 PM

It sort of bothers me when they declassify things that have my name in them!

Dirk PraetMarch 8, 2011 4:49 PM

@ Richard

I would like to suggest two more Bruces to add to the Tao: Bruce Wayne and Bruce Willis.

@ Arctus

Bruce is writing a book. Try posting a witty comment or something that contains an original idea. It may help to draw his attention.

l-arginineMarch 9, 2011 12:53 PM

Don't forget Bruce Banner.

Not a good "what-would-he-do" role model though. But in the same class as Bruce Wayne.

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