Privacy Act


A proper Privacy Act Request is one in which individuals seek records on themselves that are contained in a file retrievable by the individual's name or personal identifier. All Privacy Act requests, to include amendment requests, must be submitted in writing, contain as much detail as possible to identify the information requested or amended, and contain the requester's signature (digital signature via online). NSA may only accept Privacy Act requests online/by email with a valid digital signature. At this time, we are unable to process online requests; however, we are accepting email and/or written Privacy Act requests.

Authority for collecting the requested information is contained in 5 U.S.C. Section 552a, as amended, 32 C.F.R. Ch. 1, Parts 310 and 322, DoD Regulation 5400.11-R, and NSA/CSS Policy 1-34. DoD's Blanket Routine Uses (found at Appendix C, 32 CFR Part 310) and the specific uses found in GNSA 28 apply to this information. Authority for requesting your Social Security Number (SSN) is Executive Order 9397, as amended. The requested information will be used to process your Privacy Act request. Disclosure of the requested information, including SSN, is voluntary. However, failure to furnish the requested information may delay or prevent the processing of your request. Failure to provide SSN will affect the ability to conduct a thorough search for records responsive to your request.

Submitting a Privacy Act Request

If you are requesting Privacy Act records on yourself (e.g., records reflecting your affiliation with NSA as an employee, applicant, or visitor; or personnel, medical, training, or security files) and you are a U.S. citizen, please follow the instructions below.

NSA offers three ways to submit a Privacy Act request outlined below. Regardless of your choice of submission, your signature is required. If your email platform does not offer a digital signature feature, please submit your signed request via postal service or facsimile (fax).

By postal service or other commercial delivery to:

National Security Agency
Attn: FOIA/PA Office
9800 Savage Road, Suite 6932
Fort George G. Meade, MD 20755-6932

By fax to 443-479-3612
Privacy Act requests submitted by fax are limited to 20 pages and should be marked to the attention of the FOIA/PA Office.

By email complete with a digital signature. Not all email services have the digital signature capability, so check before sending. A valid email digital signature is required for all email submissions. Requests without a digital signature will not be processed. Please include the following items in the body of your email. You can "copy and paste" the following information.

Full name:
Zip Code:
Home Phone:
Work Phone:
Description of the records you seek:

Average Processing Time

Requests are processed on a first-in/first-out basis. Requests vary in scope and complexity so an average processing time is difficult to provide. Actual processing time depends on how extensive a search is required; the complexity, volume, and sensitivity of the records located; the need for consultation among various offices within NSA, as well as the need to consult with other agencies having an interest in the material; and the number of cases preceding a request in the processing queue.

Expedited Treatment

A request will be expedited if the requester seeks such processing and demonstrates a compelling need, as defined by the FOIA, or a need for expedited treatment, as detailed in Department of Defense FOIA Manual 5400.07. The requester seeking expeditious processing must provide a self-certified statement for the expedited request that is true and correct to the best of their knowledge.

Appeal Process

A requester has the right to file an administrative appeal if an adverse determination is made. Examples of adverse determinations are a denial of records or information within records; the inability of an agency to locate records; the determination that a request does not fall under the purview of this Agency; a denial of a waiver of fees; and a denial of expedited processing.

The NSA FOIA and Privacy Act Office can be reached by phone at (301) 688-6527.