Download e-book for kindle: Code Warriors: NSA’s Codebreakers and the Secret by Stephen Budiansky

By Stephen Budiansky

ISBN-10: 0385352662

ISBN-13: 9780385352666

A sweeping, in-depth background of NSA, whose recognized “cult of silence” has left the business enterprise shrouded in secret for many years
 
The nationwide safety service provider used to be born out of the mythical codebreaking courses of worldwide warfare II that cracked the famed Enigma laptop and different German and eastern codes, thereby turning the tide of Allied victory. within the postwar years, because the usa built a brand new enemy within the Soviet Union, our intelligence group came across itself concentrating on now not squaddies at the battlefield, yet suspected spies, overseas leaders, or even americans. in the course of the moment 1/2 the 20th century, NSA performed a necessary, frequently fraught and debatable position within the significant occasions of the chilly struggle, from the Korean conflict to the Cuban Missile trouble to Vietnam and past.

In Code Warriors, Stephen Budiansky—a longtime professional in cryptology—tells the attention-grabbing tale of the way NSA got here to be, from its roots in global struggle II throughout the fall of the Berlin Wall. alongside the best way, he courses us in the course of the attention-grabbing demanding situations confronted via cryptanalysts, and the way they broke probably the most complex codes of the 20th century. With entry to new files, Budiansky exhibits the place the organization succeeded and failed in the course of the chilly conflict, yet his account additionally bargains an important viewpoint for assessing NSA this day within the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations. Budiansky exhibits how NSA’s obsession with recording every piece of knowledge and interpreting each sign is much from a brand new improvement; all through its historical past the intensity and breadth of the agency’s achieve has led to either impressive successes and damaging mess ups.

Featuring a sequence of appendixes that designate the technical information of Soviet codes and the way they have been damaged, this can be a wealthy and riveting historical past of the underbelly of the chilly struggle, and a vital and well timed learn for all who search to appreciate the origins of the fashionable NSA.

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Additional info for Code Warriors: NSA’s Codebreakers and the Secret Intelligence War Against the Soviet Union

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10 What had begun as little more than tiny back-office research groups (at the outbreak of World War II in September 1939 the Army’s Washington signals intelligence staff was nineteen people, the Navy’s thirty-six) had become veritable decryption factories, working round-the-clock shifts and tied to a sprawling global network of outstations that fed an uninterrupted stream of intercepted communications. *2 By October 1943 Arlington Hall had up and running a semiautomated decryption processing line for Japanese army traffic that punched incoming teleprinter messages onto paper tape, converted the paper tape to IBM cards, matched the resulting decks of punch cards with other sets of cards punched with the corresponding sequence of cipher key, subtracted one from the other to reveal the underlying code groups and punched those on a third set of cards, and then used a library of cards containing code groups whose dictionary meanings had been recovered to print out the complete decoded message.

S. 10 — The roots of the crisis NSA faced as a result of Snowden’s disclosures reached deep into its own history. The bureaucratic imperatives, habits of mind, and institutional culture that drove the agency to engage in such a breathtakingly comprehensive technological intrusion into private communications, despite manifest questions about its legality and even practical value, and then to instinctively and ineptly attempt to cover it up when details became public, characterized NSA from its very beginnings.

Characteristically, he played an intensely disciplined game of golf and prided himself on being an expert ballroom dancer. ”17 By 1943 the organization had long outgrown Friedman’s talents as an administrator. After a hospitalization for a nervous collapse in January 1941, he was eased out of responsibilities and, at age fifty, had become something of an elder statesman and adviser. But he remained a legendary and revered figure among the rank-and-file cryptologists of the service, and the men who were now in charge of its most important technical branches were all his protégés.

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Code Warriors: NSA’s Codebreakers and the Secret Intelligence War Against the Soviet Union by Stephen Budiansky


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