National Security Agency

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National Security Agency
Board Chairman
Type of Organization

The National Security Agency/Central Security Service (NSA/CSS) is an intelligence agency of the United States government responsible for providing the government with encrpyted communications and for reading the encrypted intelligence of other nations; it is administered as part of the United States Department of Defense. Like the FBI, the NSA is a real United States protection agency, and it is headquartered at Fort Mead, Maryland.


The NSA's roots can be traced back to the cryptoanalysis units of the military in World War I, which were consolidated into the Cipher Bureau and Military Intelligence Branch, Section 8 (or MI-8); MI-8, also known as the Black Chamber, monitored both foreign and domestic communications, monitoring Western Union telegraph communications until 1929. During World War II, the Signal Security Agency (SSA) was created to decipher communications from the Axis powers and reorganized after World War II as the Army Security Agency (ASA). In 1949, all cryptological activities were centralized under the Armed Forces Security Agency (AFSA); President Harry Truman, believing that AFSA was not able to adequately coordinate with the state department and other security organizations, ordered an investigation that led to AFSA's reorganization as the National Security Agency.

Since its official reorganization in 1952 (which was kept secret from the public at that time), the NSA has played a key role in the United States' conduct of both its foreign and domestic affairs, such as providing evidence for the attack on the U.S.S. Maddox at the Gulf of Tonkin, monitoring the communications of those outspoken against the Vietnam War (such as Martin Luthor King, Jr.), and providing President Ronald Reagan with intelligence justifying the United States' bombing of Libya in 1986.

Recently, a major controversy has erupted with the NSA at its center, with the extent of both its domestic and international spying revealed through leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Role in Adventures in Odyssey

Over the course of the Blackgaard saga, it was revealed that John Avery Whittaker had worked as a collaborator with the NSA on several computer programs, among them Applesauce. Whit also worked with Tasha Forbes, a microbiologist with the NSA, on the formula for TA-418 (the 'T' and 'A' in the formula stand for 'Tasha' and 'Avery'). While Whit was never actually an agent for the NSA, his son Jason became deeply involved with the agency as an analyst, working to investigate, among other entities, Red Scorpion, Dalton Kearn, and Sherman Wurt.

Characters Involved with the National Security Agency