NSA’s Rules & Restrictions

Because of my background I’ve received a number of questions recently from friends and readers regarding the allegations of improper use of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) capabilities.  While I’m an Intelligence Officer by training and began my career as a Signals Intelligence Officer (the NSA is the Department of Defense’s signals intelligence agency) I’ve been out of the game for several years but the rules we follow as intelligence professionals haven’t changed and if properly followed they assure that our Intelligence Services do not become tools of tyranny or lead to the types of abuses we saw during the Vietnam/Antiwar Movement years.  I have also been fortunate enough to work with the NSA and a number of other signals intelligence agencies and have been impressed with their professionalism and patriotism.  I know that the interpretations of these regulations have loosened somewhat since the 9/11 attacks but if we hold strictly to these regulations we can balance privacy for ‘U.S. persons’ and security for our nation.  

Reprinted below are the ’15 Procedures’ of DOD Directive 5240.1-R.  This directive applies to 8 of the 17 members of the U.S. Intelligence community including:

  • Air Force Intelligence
  • Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)
  • National Security Agency (NSA)
  • Navy Intelligence
  • Marine Corps Intelligence
  • National Reconnaissance Office
  • National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
  • Army Intelligence

The following agencies aren’t covered by DOD Directive 5240.1-R but are covered by Executive Order 12333 which is also referenced below.

  • Central Intelligence Agency
  • Coast Guard Intelligence
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Department of State
  • Department of the Treasury
  • Drug Enforcement Administration
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Office of the Director of National Intelligence

 DOD Directive 5240.1-R explains which intelligence related activities are allowable and which activities aren’t (human testing for example).  As mentioned above, this regulation governs the NSA and the other Intelligence community members within the Department of Defense.  

The NSA’s been getting a lot of  unwanted press lately and it’s important to know that if followed properly these regulations place restrictions on the NSA that assure that it won’t become a tool of tyranny.  A robust intelligence community is essential to a secure nation but in a free society the intelligence community must be focused on external threats and leave internal threats to law enforcement.

Note:  this regulation only governs DOD Intelligence activities and not Federal, State or local law enforcement agencies.

Procedures governing the activities of DoD intelligence components that affect United States persons, December 1982 (more…)

Clinton on Privacy – Today’s Quote

I believe in a zone of privacy.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Drudge’s Warning – Today’s Quote

Warning to reporters and sources:  Assume all your communications are being monitored.  Time to move back to the parking garage.

Matt Drudge via Twitter  commenting on the Department of Justice secretly seizing the Associated Press’ phone records

Stealth Prepper – Top 10 Reasons

Today I’m running a Best of Prepography article on Stealth Prepping that first ran in July of last year.  I’m rerunning this today in response to a request I saw over the weekend at another preparedness site encouraging folks to publicly identify themselves as preppers in an attempt to shatter the Doomsday Prepper narrative that the media usually attaches to those prudent enough to prepare.  I understand the reasoning…it seems that anytime a criminal is found to have more than one firearm or a deep larder they’re labled by the news media as another crazy prepper or wacko survivalist.  I hate that our movement is having it’s reputation tarnished but I’ll bet you got into prepping for your family…don’t risk everything you’ve accomplished (or intend to accomplish) with your preps by ‘going public.’

Being a ‘Stealth Prepper’ means keeping your preparations to yourself and practicing what we call OPSEC (Operational Security) in the military. The journey towards self-reliance and preparedness for life’s unexpected situations is exciting…you will want to celebrate your successes and discuss how to rectify your failures with like-minded people…but don’t do so until you put a lot of thought into who you’re talking with, who they’ll tell and so on. Here are the Top 10 Reasons to be a Stealth Prepper:

  1. The words “I won’t tell anyone” are almost always a lie, even if said with proper intentions at the time.  Keep your preparations to yourself.
  2. You will be ridiculed in good times by those well meaning people in your life that think nothing bad can ever happen to them… or that the authorities will always protect them from danger…in other words the sheeple.
  3. You could be inundated by requests for ‘assistance’ in hard times that will have you weighing the well being of your family against that of strangers, acquaintances and friends.
  4. You can’t afford to buy enough for ‘everybody.’
  5. You don’t have enough space to store for ‘everybody.’ (more…)

Invitation from Doomsday Preppers

I recently received an invitation from the National Geographic television show, Doomsday Preppers to participate in the casting call for the new season.  I’ve heard and read a lot about the show but haven’t seen an episode.  The way it’s been described to me…Doomsday Preppers is to preparedness what the television show Hoarders is to pack rats.

Anyway…the invitation was polite and I just as politely turned down the invitation citing my privacy concerns.  I’ve got to hand it to woman who contacted me though…she didn’t give up…she assured me that my participation could take place without mention of my name or where I live.  I’m not quite sure how that keeps me anonymous with everyone I’ve ever met…and everyone they would tell about my participation…but I imagine they’ve only got to get a handful of folks to agree each season to put on a show.  If you’re considering answering a similar casting call, check out my article on the Top 10 Reasons To Be A Stealth Prepper.  I’d love to promo my site and reach a wider audience…but not that way.

Final Thought:  Doomsday Preppers is a terrible name…it implies that people only need to prepare for apocalyptic events…there are plenty of mundane disasters that are much more likely where your preps will come in handy.


Don’t Wait for a Massacre

I received the following from subscriber, Blue Shark:

Lots of chatter on the increase in gun sales and firearms certification class enrolments since Aurora.  Happens every time there is a massacre.  Gist is that purchasers aren’t just afraid of being attacked they’re also afraid of increased gun control.

Christian Science Monitor

National Public Radio

There’s been a tremendous resurgence of interest in our Second Amendment Rights and the right to self-defense in recent years with (more…)

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