Five spy agencies:
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
National Security Agency (NSA)
Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)
National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)
secretive identity belies the agency's massive physical size
and the scope of its surveillance activities, as James Bamford
"Completed in 2011 at a cost of $1.4 billion, the main
building measures four football fields long and covers
as much ground as two aircraft carriers.
2016, the agency purchased 99 acres in St. Louis to
construct additional buildings at a cost of $1.75
billion to accommodate the growing workforce, with 3,000
employees already in the city.
NGA is to pictures what the NSA is to voices. Its
principal function is to analyze the billions of images
and miles of video captured by drones in the Middle East
and spy satellites circling the globe.
because it has largely kept its ultra-high-resolution
cameras pointed away from the United States, according
to a variety of studies, the agency has never been
involved in domestic spy scandals like its two far more
famous siblings, the CIA and the NSA.
However, there's reason to believe that this will change
under President Donald Trump."
tasked primarily with cartography - before a mammoth
expansion, the spy arm had been called the National Imagery
and Mapping Agency - until a name and mission switch in 2003
gave the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency its name,
with the hyphen allowing a three-letter acronym so enamored
by the government.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, whose fondness for imagery
intelligence became known when he served as a general during
World War II,
created the National Photographic Interpretation Center
shortly before leaving office - an agency also later
absorbed by the NGA.
NGA works in conjunction with the U.S. Air Force to analyze
the staggering amount of data collected through aerial
surveillance abroad - mostly by unmanned aerial systems,
such as drones with high-powered cameras.
to at least
one source, as of 2013, the NGA was integral in the
analysis of surveillance data pertaining to Iran's nuclear
on the depth and breadth of the Central Intelligence
Agency's domestic capabilities, long believed out of its
territory, was exposed by Wikileaks
Vault 7 recently to be on
par with National Security Agency programs - so much so,
analysts say it constitutes a duplicate Big Brother.
provided to the NGA by military officials has assisted in
various U.S. operations in the Middle East by tracking
vehicles believed responsible for planting improvised
explosive devices, or IEDs, and for monitoring hot spots for
But the NGA
hardly only keeps to support operations, as David Brown
- author of the book, "Deep State - Inside the Government
Secrecy Industry" -
the trigger was pulled on NEPTUNE'S SPEAR, the mission
to kill Osama Bin Laden, SEAL Team Six had access to a
perfect replica of the Abbottabad compound where the
terrorist mastermind was hiding.
details for the replica were gathered by the NGA, which
used laser radar and imagery to construct a 3D rendering
of the compound.
How precise were its
measurements and analysis? The NGA figured out how many
people lived at the compound, their gender, and even
NGA didn't stop there: Its calculations also helped the
pilots of the stealth Black Hawks know precisely where
request for 2017 of $70.3 billion, the National and
Military Intelligence Programs - NGA falls under the latter
- have seen a quickening of support from the
additional factors - such as the astonishingly sophisticated
equipment at the agency's disposal - have ignited fears the
NGA could be granted authority to bring its expert
microscope into focus against the American people.
most of the technological capacities are classified, an
anonymous NGA analyst told media the agency can
determine the structure of buildings and objects from a
distance, has some of the most sophisticated facial
recognition software on the planet and uses sensors on
satellites and drones that can see through thick clouds
for 'all-weather' imagery analysis,"
bolster NGA's innovate staff pool ratcheted up on Thursday,
as Business Wire
navigating a U.S. aircraft to making national policy
decisions, to responding to natural disasters: today's
U.S. armed forces rely on Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT)
to meet mission requirements.
nation's primary source of GEOINT for the Department of
Defense and the U.S. Intelligence Community, the
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) depends on
the National Geospatial-Intelligence College (NGC) to
produce top-tier talent to deliver intelligence with a
Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH) announced that it has been
awarded a five-year, $86 million contract by NGA-NGC to
lead the Learning Management and Advancement Program (LMAP)
that will provide high-quality learning solutions to
equip a diverse workforce with the knowledge and skills
necessary to meet current and future GEOINT mission
Bamford points out for Foreign Policy the Trump
administration intimated a significant expansion of
spying on mosques and Islamic centers, while others
admonish said surveillance could put Black Lives
Matter and other protest groups in the NGA's silent
distinct concern for privacy advocates are drones with
uncanny zooming capabilities - features used against
U.S. citizens before.
2016, unbeknownst to many city officials, police in
conducting persistent aerial surveillance using
a system developed for military use in Iraq.
civilians have any idea how advanced these military
eye-in-the-sky drones have become.
Among them is ARGUS-IS, the world's
highest-resolution camera with 1.8 billion pixels.
Invisible from the ground at nearly four miles in
the air, it uses a technology known as 'persistent
stare' - the equivalent of 100 Predator drones
peering down at a medium-size city at once - to
track everything that moves.
"With the capability to watch an area of 10 or even
15 square miles at a time, it would take just two
drones hovering over Manhattan to continuously
observe and follow all outdoor human activity, night
can zoom in on an object as small as a stick of
butter on a plate and store up to 1 million
terabytes of data a day.
That capacity would allow analysts to look back in
time over days, weeks, or months. Technology is in
the works to enable drones to remain aloft for years
at a time."
cutting edge technology, a rapid enlargement underway,
and billions in budgetary funds at the ready, the
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is the cloaked,
mute sibling of the nefarious Intelligence Community...
it's time to pull the protective shell off this
potential ticking time bomb before reining it in becomes