Under the Radar: NSA’s Efforts to Secure Private-Sector Telecommunications Infrastructure

Landau explains the National Security Agency’s little-known function of providing communications security (COMSEC) to private companies, which has involved an improvement of security and privacy of the domestic communications infrastructure. She examines the history of the program and how the NSA’s behavior towards the private sector has shifted since the 1950’s, as well as the rationale behind these radical changes. Ultimately, Landau argues that providing national security tools to the private sector is outside the mission of the NSA and should be done by an entity more in sync with the private sector and international community.

By Susan Landau

Professor of Cybersecurity Policy, Worcester Polytechnic Institute.


  1. Obama, Holder, Clinton and Kerry should all be tried in a court of law and sent to prison, and while they’re at it, put Michelle in there too. Just because she advocates for kids to eat healthy, yet, her tuchus could probably barely fit through the oval office and every shot they take of HER eating, she’s pigging out on a flippin hamburger. I’ve had it up to here with these treasonous bastards.

  2. (Please moderate the previous (“J.”) calumny)
    Prof. Landau’s history is valuable as preface to today…but the challenge is an effective engagement with the Private Sector. And that is simply proven by recent efforts (SCRM, Privacy Engineering, Cyber Framework, and now Cyber Physical Systems) that while it can conduct shows, it can not get consensus from a critical mass of the private sector…it is a technical policy recommending body..not a policy making/advocacy body…

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