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Mission


OPS 2A and 2B Buildings The National Security Agency/Central Security Service (NSA/CSS) leads the U.S. Government in cryptology that encompasses both Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) and Information Assurance (IA) products and services, and enables Computer Network Operations (CNO) in order to gain a decision advantage for the Nation and our allies under all circumstances.

The Information Assurance mission confronts the formidable challenge of preventing foreign adversaries from gaining access to sensitive or classified national security information. The Signals Intelligence mission collects, processes, and disseminates intelligence information from foreign signals for intelligence and counterintelligence purposes and to support military operations. This Agency also enables Network Warfare operations to defeat terrorists and their organizations at home and abroad, consistent with U.S. laws and the protection of privacy and civil liberties.

Executive Order 12333, originally issued 4 December 1981, delineates the NSA/CSS roles and responsibilities. In part, the Director, NSA/Chief, CSS is charged to:

  • Collect (including through clandestine means), process, analyze, produce, and disseminate signals intelligence information and data for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes to support national and departmental missions;
  • Act as the National Manager for National Security Systems as established in law and policy, and in this capacity be responsible to the Secretary of Defense and to the Director, National Intelligence;
  • Prescribe security regulations covering operating practices, including the transmission, handling, and distribution of signals intelligence and communications security material within and among the elements under control of the Director of the National Security Agency, and exercise the necessary supervisory control to ensure compliance with the regulations.

EO 12333 was amended on 31 July 2008 in order to:

  • Align EO12333 with the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004;
  • Implement additional recommendations of the 9/11 and WMD Commissions;
  • Further integrate the Intelligence Community and clarify and strengthen the role of the DNI as the head of the Community;
  • Maintain or strengthen privacy and civil liberties protections.

 

Date Posted: Jan 15, 2009 | Last Modified: Apr 15, 2011 | Last Reviewed: Apr 15, 2011

 
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