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NSA - Unofficial Vocabulary

NSA - Unofficial Vocabulary

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Published by Marc Ambinder

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Published by: Marc Ambinder on Feb 06, 2012
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DOClD:3928836
@'pprovedforreleasebyNSAon12-01-2011,TransparencyCase#6385J
UnofficialVocabulary
DAVID
A.
HATCH
tp6tJ6)Recently,when'seekingthedefinitionforatrafficanalyticterm
in
awell-documentedAgencyworkingaid,itoccurredtomethatNSAisrichinunomcialvocabularythathasyettomakeitintoanysanctionedpublicationorofficialworking
aid.
Thereisanextensivebodyofjargonusednotonlytomakethecryptologicbusinessseemarcaneandexaltedtooutsi~ersbutalsotodescribethemanynonprofessionalandunprofessionalaspectsoflifeattheAgency.Thefollowingisastarterlistofsome
of
thesewords,justafewtermsthatcamereadilytomind,augmentedbysuggestionsfromtheimaginativecrewattheCenterforCryptologicHistory(CCH).
(U)
Thislistisadmittedlyfarfromcomplete,andweattheCCBwelcomeanynewadditions.Sendyourcandidates,preferablywith,definitionsandanythingknownorguessedabouttheword'setymology,totheChiefofOperationalHistory,D93,Room86424,FANXIII.Thebestofthe(printable)submissionswillappear
in
afuture
CryptologicQuarterly.
BADGER:
v.t.;tostructureunitstopedorma
specific
functionorseries
of
functions.Forexample:NSAmustarchitectofficestoprovidesupporttotheU.S.CentralCommand.Thepanoplyoforganizationsthusarrayedmay
be
calledthe"architecture"forthatparticularpurpose,asinthe"crisisresponsearchitecture."aworker'sclearancestatusasmarkedforeasyrecognitionbythecolorofhisorherbadge,green,red,orblack-forfullycleared,noncleared,orcontractor,respectively.toreproducexerographically;abummachinewasanearlyofficereproductionmachine.aheavypaperbag,resemblingagrocery
bag
butwithoutpicturesoflostAgencyemployeesontheside,usedtocollectpapertrashforeventualdestruction;theterm
has
persistedlongafterrU'ewasabandonedasamethodofdisposingofthiswaste.earphones,especiallywhenusedduringmonitoringduty.thenear-perpendicularparkingareaadjacenttotheFANX,complex;notforcouchpotatoes.
ARCHITECT:BURN:BURNBAG:
CANS:
CARDIACHIIJ.:
137
fjOROFF.ElALUSE8Nt\"
 
DOClD:3928836
CHECKER'SCHOICE:CHOP:CONSUMER
(lLk.a.
CUSTOMER):
C-REF:
CRYPPIE:
DAYLADY:
DESKRATS:
DIDDY
BOPPING:
DIP:
FANFOLD:
FLAG
CARRIERS:
FORTFUMBLE:FRIEDMAN:
GHOST:
GOLFBALL:
FeReFFIC.Ai:US&;ONL¥
CRYPTOLOGICQUARTERLY
theultimaterecourseonquestionsarisingintranslationortranscriptionofforeignlanguagematerial,
in
whichthe"checker,"aseniorlinguist,makesadecisionbetweentwouncertainalternatives;theinvocationfromwhichthereisnoappeal.toinitialforapprovalorasevidencethatcoordinationamongofficeshasbeencarriedout;may
be
usedasnounorverb.thosewhoreceiveNSAreportsthroughregulardistributionchannels.Thisisanattempttointroduceterminologyfrombusinessandcommerceintotheintelligencecommunity.shortappellationfortheOfficeofCentralReference(sometimesCentralResearch).Thenicknamehascontinuedlongaftertheorganizationwasabsorbedintoanothergroupanditsofficialnamechanged.shortenedformof"cryptanalyst";used(andtaken)bysomeasaffectionate,byothersasderogatory-listencarefullyCorthetoneofvoiceandchecktosee
if
thespeakerissmilingornot.amildlypejorativetermusedbyworkersoneveningorovernightshiftstodescribeapersonofeithersexwhoworksonly"normalbusinesshours";oftencharacterizedbyacompulsiveconcernforwearinganecktieoravoidingjeans.that'sOK,youknowwhoyouare.copyingmanualMorsetransmissions.shortCor"diplomatic,"denotingatypeoftraffic.amethodofprintingmultiplecopiesofatext;socalledbecausethemethodusedseveral-plypaperofdifferentcolorsthatresembledalady'sfanwhenspreadout.Agencyseniorexecutives,sonamedbecausethebackdropfortheirbadgephotographsincludesanAmericanflag.anotaltogetheraffectionatedesignationforFortMeade
and
theNSAheadquartersbythosestationedelsewhere.shorthanddesignationCorthelargestauditoriuminthe
SIGlNTCITY
(q.v.);believedto
be
theonlyportionoftheCity.actuallynamedafteranindividual,inthiscaseWilliamF.Friedman
(1891-1969),
thedeanofmodernAmericancryptologists.tofloatamongotiu:eswhileawaitingapermanentposition.thesphericalshieldplacedoverantennasorotherequipmenttoprotectthemfromweatheringorsurveillance.Whenfourofthese
138
 
DOCID:3928836
UNOFFICIALVOCABULARY
werelinedupatoptheheadquartersbuilding
in
the19708.itwas,commontohearthemdescribedas"on,volume,horizontal,andvertical"knobs.anunpaved
parking
areaoutsideGate2,whichfeaturedeithersandstormsormudholesinseasonandnotmuchinbetween;itwaspavedin1989.shortforArlingtonHallinVirginia,onceoneofthemainlocationsfortheNationalSecurityAgency,inlatteryearstheheadqUartersoftheArmySecurityAgency(nowIntelligenceandSecurityCommand).Thiswasaformerprivategirl'sschoolpurchasedbythemilitaryduringWorldWar
II.
Cf
NEBRASKAAVENUE.
describes~xtwithasignificantnumberofgarbles,misprints,oromissionsthatrenderitunreadableorcallintoquestionitsvalidity.a.k.a."shotgunenvelope."
An
interofficedistributionenvelopewithregularly
spaced
circularholes.Thenameisaplayonthenowobsoletenicknameforanaggressivereligiousproselytizer.
HOURSOFBOREDOM!
anUnofficialsloganusedtodescribedutyinNSOC9rotherwatch
MOMENTSOFTERROR:
offices.
GRAVEL
PIT:HALL,
THE:HAMMERED:
HOLYJOE:KNOBBING:
theactofsearchingfortargetcommunicationsbytwistingadialmanuallyoninterceptequipment.
KORUNG:
acronymfor"Koreanlinguist,"anoccupationalspeciality.ItwouldlooklesslikeaScottishsportorCanadianbeer
if
spelledwithahyphen.
LINGlE:
anattempttocreateanicknamederivedfromtheoccupationalspecialty"linguist."Fortunately.
this
didnotcomeintocommonuse.Somelinguistswouldpreferthephrase"languageengineer"todescribetheirprofession.
MOM'S:
anicknameforthecafeteria,possiblyderisive.
NEBRASKA'AVENUE:
Washington.
D.C.,
locationthatservedasheadquartersfortheNavalSecurityGroupandalsoatonetimeasoneofthemainlocationsfortheNationalSecurityAgencypriortoitsmovetoFt.
Meade.
See
also,
THEHALL.
NlNTHFLOOR:
thelocationoftheDirector'sofficeduringmostofthe19608,19708,and1980s,thusasynonymfortheAgency'sseniorleadershiporthefinalpolicydecision.139
POROPPIClJll(ttiS!
ONt)'

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