NSA

Zinesters of the NSA

The National Security Agency and the DIY aesthetic

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When Matt Novak looked through the declassified back issues of the NSA's in-house magazine Cryptolog, he made an unexpected discovery: They look a lot like punk zines. And not just because parts of them have been redacted, though that certainly helps.

Novak has posted a bunch of examples at Gizmodo. This one from the July '75 issue should give you the flavor:

The fact that the "P16" looks like it says "PIG" just makes it better.
Cryptolog

Hat tip: Bryan Alexander.

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  1. The unfairness of the rock being added to his weight is offset by the location of the fulcrum.

  2. NSA BOOGEYMEN!!! THEY’LL STEAL YOUR THOUGHTS AND MONITOR YOUR COMPLETELY POINTLESS BLOG!!
    RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!

    1. OH NOES TEH MUSLIMS ARE GOING TO KILL US SO WE NEED BIG DADDY GOVERNMENT TO LISTEN TO ALL OUR PHONE CALLS!!1

  3. That is actually a very good description of what it looks like. I wonder if there are lot of former punkers in the NSA organization?

    1. Like Snowden, my guess is that they employ a lot of people who are not ideological allies of the NSA, but they are computer/network geniuses who are desperate for employment.

      They bring with them the punk/DIY aesthetic that would normally be absent.

      1. I think that’s very true.

        My question is, what in the hell were even internal publications doing being classified? That’s a totally inappropriate use. Nothing classified should ever make it into even an internal magazine.

        I think the NSA was pretty stupid back then. Alternatively, the overclassification bug has struck again.

    2. I wonder if there are lot of former punkers in the NSA organization?

      Given how old these are, I think it’s more a matter of independent invention.

      1. Okay, fair enough. I didn’t realize how old most of these were.

        But still, this design aesthetic is not something you would expect from the bureaucratically-minded.

        My guess is that the NSA has had a long-time policy of hiring creative, independent-minded people.

        1. Or it HAD a policy of hiring creative independent thinkers, in 1974.

          I’m sure these days the creative independent thinkers are kept in a locked basement somewhere so they won’t contaminate the mind-numbing conformity of the other 98% of the workforce.

          1. They still go after creative independent thinkers. They probably have to throw more money at them these days. They NEED that sort of talent to be able to do what they do.

  4. One last little OT for today: Phillip K Dick on Reality:

    http://preview.tinyurl.com/qatswvq

    What about the cop shows? Cars are continually swerving out of control, crashing, and catching fire. The police are always good and they always win. Do not ignore that point: The police always win. What a lesson that is. You should not fight authority, and even if you do, you will lose. The message here is, Be passive. And?cooperate. If Officer Baretta asks you for information, give it to him, because Officer Beratta is a good man and to be trusted. He loves you, and you should love him.

  5. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is wha? I do……

    http://www.wixjob.com

  6. I think it’s indicative of how the NSA was once a rather small group of highly specialized computer hackers, narrowly focused on foreign espionage.

    And now it’s evolved into the American equivalent of the KGB. And all-seeing eye engaging in domestic surveillance of the US populace.

  7. I just got paid usd6784 working off my laptop this month. And if you think that’s cool, my divorced friend has twin toddlers and made over usd 9k her first month. It feels so good making so much money when other people have to work for so much less. This is what I do,,,,,,
    http://www.work-mill.com

  8. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is wha? I do……

    http://www.wixjob.com

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