Changing SIGINT Landscape

NSA is tasked with collecting intelligence security from all around the globe that can be used to protect the US by preventing possible threats of attacks. The video presents a report of the challenges that the NSA faces in its struggle to collect intelligence reports that can help the country prevent potential attacks. One of the significant concerns that have been raised in the video is the allegation that the agency is spying on their citizens and tapping into their phone conversations. This is a primary allegation that is discussed at length in the video and provides a severe setback to the work of the agency. After the September 11 attack, the US came up with regulations that allowed the NSA to tap into phone conversations in the event of a possible sense of suspicious activity(Marks, 2013). However, this law could be misused by the agency, and the law is not clear on how to determine the right situation for its use. Another major setback is associated with the use of other COMINT techniques which involve microphones and audio transmitters (Clark, 2009). Despite being a useful technique, there is the challenge of accessing remote places and planting their devices(Korchenko, Vasiliu&Gnatyuk, 2010).

Another major problem that the organization is facing is the continued sophistication of terrorist groups who have acquired reliable equipment that can tap into the institution’s information (Don et al., 2007). The democratization of SIGINT has also ensured that anyone can access the same equipment that NSA uses in its intelligence work and, hence, making it difficult to do its job (Weinbaum, nd). The agency has been majorly reliant on the use of SIGINT in its intelligence collection and analysis; therefore, making it available to the public and this has jeopardized the agency’s operations(“Bulk Collection of Signals Intelligence,” 2015).




Bulk Collection of Signals Intelligence. (2015). doi: 10.17226/19414

Clark, R. (2009). Intelligence analysis (3rd ed.).

Don, B., Frelinger, D., Gerwehr, S., Landree, E., & Jackson, B. (2007). Network Technologies for Networked Terrorists.

Korchenko, O., Vasiliu, Y., &Gnatyuk, S. (2010). MODERN QUANTUM TECHNOLOGIES OF INFORMATION SECURITY AGAINST CYBER‐TERRORIST ATTACKS. Aviation14(2), 58-69. doi: 10.3846/aviation.2010.10

Marks, P. (2013). Preview 2014: The after-effects of NSA spying start now. New Scientist220(2948-2949), 30. doi: 10.1016/s0262-4079(13)62947-4

Weinbaum, C., Berner, S., & McClintock, B. SIGINT FOR EVERYONE: the growing availability of signals intelligence in the public domain. Perspective.

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