Title: Cover/Anonymity: When Mission Requires NSA Association to be Hidden

Release Date: 2017-04-24

Document Date: 2004-10-14

Description: There are some situations where NSA personnel need to work in a foreign country while concealing their association with NSA. This article outlines the resources NSA has to help its spies create cover identities, including coordinating logistics, and receiving "travel documents, state driver's licenses, credit cards, post office boxes, social security cards, pocket litter and telecommunications."

Document: DYNAMIC PAGE -- HIGHEST POSSIBLE CLASSIFICATION IS
TOP SECRET // SI / TK // REL TO USA AUS CAN GBR NZL

(C//SI) Cover/Anonymity: When Mission Requires NSA Association to
be Hidden
FROM:
Data Acquisition, Special Operational Support (S3092)
Unknown
Run Date: 10/14/2004
(S//SI) Imagine a couple of scenarios. First, a Target of Interest communication network is in
the process of being upgraded, and an opportunity to gain access is discovered. To do so
requires NSA personnel to operate under non-official cover. Second, the Foreign Affairs
Directorate has established a SIGINT relationship with a new Partner. The Partner will allow an
in-country technical support facility if the relationship and fact that NSA personnel are operating
in country are concealed.
(C) So, how does one go about making NSA personnel look like they actually work for an entity
other than NSA? What regulations and policies must be followed? How does one ensure
cover/anonymity mechanisms don't conflict with and expose other sensitive activities? What
training should be provided to effectively use and maintain a cover? The simple answer to all of
these questions is to contact the Special Operational Support (SOS) Office, S3092.
(S//SI) SOS is NSA's Designated Cover Support Office (DCSO). As such, it provides
administration of all NSA/CSS cover and sensitive personnel support programs, which include:
Maintaining compliance with DoD regulations and policy, and coordinating cover plans
and operations with the Defense Central Cover Staff and Undersecretary of Defense for
Intelligence (USD(I));
Coordinating, as required, for the provision of cover and anonymity with logistics,
transportation, personnel and medical support;
Providing cover and anonymity guidance to mission elements that are coordinating
sensitive activities;
Working with DoD activities, Federal and State governments and non-governmental
organizations to establish and maintain cover support mechanisms (e.g. DoD Common
Access Cards (CAC), travel documents, state driver's licenses, credit cards, post office
boxes, social security cards, pocket litter and telecommunications);
Ensuring personnel are provided adequate training to support cover operations.
(S//SI) In short, SOS's role is to develop and maintain a cover support program which enables
NSA sensitive mission activities while ensuring the cover support aspects are fully coordinated
and compliant.
(S//SI) To support scenario 1 noted above, a Cover Support Plan will be developed by the SOS
Staff and approved by USD(I) for conducting a Cover for Action by using a Non-official Cover
provider. A "black" contract will be arranged and effective cover mechanisms will be put in
place. The second scenario is dependent on the sensitivity of the relationship with the SIGINT
partner. A nominal official cover arrangement may work in some cases; however for the more
sensitive 3rd Party relationship, the cover mechanisms will be more complex.
(S//SI) As NSA's missions continue to evolve and increasingly require cover operations, it is
imperative that we develop and maintain a cover program capable of protecting our SIGINT
mission from compromise, our people from the growing threat of terrorism, and the equities of
our partners.

"(U//FOUO) SIDtoday articles may not be republished or reposted outside NSANet
without the consent of S0121 (DL sid_comms)."

DYNAMIC PAGE -- HIGHEST POSSIBLE CLASSIFICATION IS
TOP SECRET // SI / TK // REL TO USA AUS CAN GBR NZL
DERIVED FROM: NSA/CSSM 1-52, DATED 08 JAN 2007 DECLASSIFY ON: 20320108

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