Government is reading your mail, and the Intelligence services are reading the Government's mail. Who is in charge?
The National Security Agency was formed under such secrecy that it evades even Congressional scrutiny. A former NSA scientist raises an alarm over this abuse of America’s founding principles.
Along the way, he gives a technical briefing on how messages were encrypted and deciphered until the Internet age, demonstrates that the paranoiac secrecy over encryption is now obsolete, and explains why.
All this is enlivened with entertaining behind-the-scenes anecdotes from the author’s life at home in West Virginia, in the Army, and in the intelligence services during the Cold War.
Nelson McAvoy was born in a lumber camp in West Virginia. He learned to build radio equipment before he learned to read. Playing hooky one day, the principal asked him what he wanted to do in life. “Be a mathematician.” He got that right.
After graduating from Fairmont State College in 1952, he was assigned to the General Staff of the Army Security Agency (ASA), the World War II code-breaking center. He worked there on combining ASA with the newly formed National Security Agency (NSA). He was sent to graduate school and then back to the NSA at Fort Meade, MD. As an NSA employee, he worked at MIT and invented ultra-sensitive microwave receivers.
He retired in 1981 as Chief Scientist for space-to-space laser communications at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. His unique insights into the growth of CIA and NSA show that from their inception they have been intentionally misrepresented to Congress, the media, and the people.