A Response From the NSA

No, really.

National Security Agency
Central Security Service
Fort George G. Meade, Maryland 20750-6000

PA Case: nnnnn
20 December 2005

Address, et cetera

Dear Nemo;

This responds to your 19 December 2005 Privacy Act (PA) request, which was received in this office on 19 December 2005, for a copy of all records this Agency maintains on you. Your request has been processed under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the PA. A search of our most comprehensive filing systems which include applicant, personnel, security, and training was conducted but no records were located on you. In addition, there are no fees associated with the processing of your case since your request meets the requirements of the PA for which there are no fees.

For your information, NSA is authorized by law to collect only foreign intelligence information; therefore, we would not expect to find responsive records on U.S. citizens. Personnel management files, however, are maintained on NSA/CSS affiliates, e.g. personnel and security files. Our records reflect that you have never been affiliated with this Agenct; thus, no records were located.

Not exactly a surprise. Still, the letter would make a nice conversation piece… if I had a coffee table.

Darn fast response, I might add. I emailed them a PGP-signed request on the 19th, and received a response – dated the 20th – on the 28th.

Published in: Geekiness, General, History | on December 27th, 2005| 3 Comments »

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  1. On 12/31/2005 at 9:50 am Chuck Dupree Said:

    Interesting. Did you expect them to have anything?

    I agree with your contention that everyone should have a PGP or GPG key. It’s true that it’s become quite easy to use encryption software. Last time I visited my mother, I installed PGP on her IMac, and she is able to exchange encrypted emails with me, no problem.

    I guess I’ll have to go read up on the Privacy Act. Having written about the NSA some years ago (http://home.earthlink.net/~count_belisarius/nsaclipper1.htm), I expect they have a file on me. It would be interesting to see it.

    Thanks for the public experiment!

  2. On 12/31/2005 at 12:11 pm Nemo Said:

    No, I didn’t expect them to have anything. I’m just your typical, long-haired, middle-aged, middle-class, blue-collar white guy. Sure, I use and advocate encryption, and am critical of the POTUS – but so do, and are, millions of other American citizens.

    I just wanted to demonstrate how easy it is to get an answer to the question that so many people these last few weeks have been discussing. Sure, the paranoid will (perhaps rightly) suggest that a “no records found” response can’t be trusted… but that’s a different matter entirely.

  3. On 5/28/2006 at 6:25 pm Entropic Memes » Blog Archive » NSA, Redux Said:

    […] NetWizard recently took the plunge and requested his NSA record, as I did earlier this year. Unlike my response, his is “neither a confirmation or denial” that such records exist. Why? […]