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NSA sets a three-pronged systems plan

The National Security Agency is pushing a threefold IT agenda: bring in new managers from outside the agency, oppose critics that claim the agency trespasses on the data privacy of U.S. citizens and make use of new technology to analyze the data it gathers. These three efforts are driven by the fact that NSA is no longer an information agency in an industrial world, which it was when the government created it in 1952, said NSA’s director, Lt. Gen. Michael V. Hayden. Sometime in the 1990s, NSA became an island of information in the sea of the Information Age, he said today at the Information Processing Interagency Conference. When Hayden joined NSA as its director in March 1999, he said he found technological obsolescence at the agency. “That $3 trillion [telecommunications] industry was racing away from us,” he said. Another of the agency’s problems was that it had downsized during the 1990s, going from about 40,000 employees to 30,000, Hayden said, citing figures he recently declassified himself. Full Story

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