Director's Message & Overview

Welcome to the National Security Agency/Central Security Service. I'm General Keith Alexander, Commander of U.S. CYBERCOMMAND, Director of the National Security Agency and Chief of its military components, the Central Security Service. On behalf of the men and women of NSA/CSS, thank you for your interest in our work. I've been the Director here for more than five years and I can tell you this is an amazing place to work: our missions are dynamic and so are our targets.

The NSA workforce brings a diverse range of skills and backgrounds to achieve a common goal: to defend our nation and secure its future. Every day our personnel develop and use cutting-edge technologies, translate and interpret scores of information, map and analyze networks and systems, and work side-by-side with customers ranging from our nation's senior decision makers to troops in harm's way.

They do this important work with a unwavering commitment to protect the legal and constitutional rights of every U.S. person. NSA couldn't be effective if we broadcast the details of how we go about doing our mission, so there are limits on how much we can say here. We go into much greater depth in classified discussions with Congress, the courts, and the Executive Branch.

Within those limits, it's important that Americans understand what NSA does for the nation. In a moment, you'll see a video presentation about NSA that will give you a better sense of this unique national asset. We hope you enjoy it and learn from it. The men and women of NSA stand ready to serve, for the good of our nation.

NSA OVERVIEW BEGIN

((SOUND OF SIGNALS))

Hear that? It doesn't sound like much, does it?

But in the hands of an analyst at the National Security Agency, signals like these can become one of the most reliable and timely forms of intelligence available to America's leaders.

Signals Intelligence, or SIGINT, is intelligence derived from signals.

Signals contain information about our adversaries that is vital to our national security.

They can help us determine where our adversaries are located, what they are planning and what kinds of weapons they are using,

America relies on NSA to collect and process foreign signals,

understand them,

and share them with U.S. officials and war fighters

so that they can take action to keep our nation secure.

This is not an easy task.

SIGINT is technically challenging to produce.

It is both an art and a science.

Many of the signals we collect are encrypted.

And usually, they're not in English.

It takes a team of mathematicians, linguists, analysts, and computer scientists, armed with the latest technology, working around the clock, to turn signals like these

((SOUNDS OF SIGNALS))

into useable intelligence.

But the results are worth it.

SIGINT saves lives on the battlefield.

It stops terrorist attacks and disrupts their operations.

It promotes U.S. interests and alliances around the globe.

It counters the proliferation of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.

And it helps to thwart the flow of illegal narcotics into our country.

Unfortunately, our adversaries also understand the power of Signals Intelligence. As we target their signals, they try to exploit ours.

Hostile foreign nations try to gather information about official U.S. plans, policies, and capabilities by exploiting our communications, information systems, and networks around the clock.

Each day there are more than three million unauthorized probes of U.S. Defense Department computer networks alone, putting our nation at risk.

That's why America also counts on NSA to protect sensitive U.S. government communications and information systems from our adversaries.

Our Information Assurance teams work with U.S. government agencies and our allies to provide them the tools and the knowledge they need to keep their systems secure so that our adversaries are unable to gain access to sensitive U.S. and allied information.

The systems we design allow our leaders to communicate and exchange information securely in real time, anywhere in the world:

from Washington, D.C.,

to the battlefields of Iraq,

and from outer space

to cyberspace.

Information is power.

When we know our adversaries' information and they don't know ours, we have the "information advantage."

And that "Information Advantage" is what the National Security Agency, Central Security Service, gives the American people.

((BATTLE SOUNDS AND SIGNALS))

NSA has been giving America the "Information Advantage" for more than fifty years. And at a time when our nation needs our services the most, the technical challenges of conducting our missions have never been greater.

Today's adversaries have access to the latest advances in communications and information systems.

They take advantage of the ever-growing volume of digital information on the global network to hide their activities from us.

And because they use the same networks we do, we have never been more vulnerable to their attacks.

Each year a growing number of hostile foreign entities tries to hack into Department of Defense networks to acquire sensitive and classified information.

America relies on us to protect our official networks from cyber attack and to arm U.S. war fighters with the intelligence and the tools they'll need on the cyber battlefield.

That's why we're teaming up with industry and academia to develop the tools we'll need to stay on the leading edge of technology well into the future.

We're coming up with innovative ways to process the growing volumes of information more quickly.

And we're finding new ways to detect, report and respond to cyber threats, intrusions, and attacks.

As the information age transforms the world, we will transform to keep pace with these changes to keep our nation secure.

DAVID: As we enter the cyber frontier, we need to make one thing clear. Despite the inherently secret nature of our work, we are committed to serving our country, without violating the very rights we are here to protect.

Our fellow Americans rely on us to protect their way of life, while respecting their privacy. We want them to know that we conduct our missions within the law.

VANESSA: Several legal authorities govern our activities.

REBA: When we encounter U.S. person information, we follow significant processes and rules to protect their privacy.

PETE: In addition, we are subject to both internal and external oversight, including oversight from Congress.

GINA: Each of us, as employees, is personally accountable for all our activities.

BILL: We undergo continuous training to ensure that we understand the regulations that govern our work

MONA LISA: As U.S. citizens ourselves we have a commitment to the American people to act with integrity to advance the rights, goals, and values of our nation.

GARY: We provide our policymakers and our military the vital intelligence they need to protect and defend our country.

MONA LISA: We support and protect our troops in the field.

JAQUICHEA: We combat terrorism around the globe. We put our lives on the line, when necessary, to preserve our freedom.

REBA: And we defend national security networks vital to our nation.

DAVID: We, the people of NSA, together and individually, act for one thing and one thing alone: We act for the good of the nation. And we need your support.

Back (To Video)