This handbook is designed to introduce you to some of the basic security principles and
procedures with which all NSA employees must comply. It highlights some of your security
responsibilities, and provides guidelines for answering questions you may be asked
concerning your association with this Agency. Although you will be busy during the
forthcoming weeks learning your job, meeting co-workers, and becoming accustomed to a
new work environment, you are urged to become familiar with the security information
contained in this handbook. Please note that a listing of telephone numbers is provided at the
end of this handbook should you have any questions or concerns.
In joining NSA you have been given an opportunity to participate in the activities of one of
the most important intelligence organizations of the United States Government. At the same
time, you have also assumed a trust which carries with it a most important individual
responsibility--the safeguarding of sensitive information vital to the security of our nation.
While it is impossible to estimate in actual dollars and cents the value of the work being
conducted by this Agency, the information to which you will have access at NSA is without
question critically important to the defense of the United States. Since this information may
be useful only if it is kept secret, it requires a very special measure of protection. The specific
nature of this protection is set forth in various Agency security regulations and directives. The
total NSA Security Program, however, extends beyond these regulations. It is based upon the
concept that security begins as a state of mind. The program is designed to develop an
appreciation of the need to protect information vital to the national defense, and to foster the
development of a level of awareness which will make security more than routine compliance
At times, security practices and procedures cause personal inconvenience. They take time and
effort and on occasion may make it necessary for you to voluntarily forego some of your
usual personal perogatives. But your compensation for the inconvenience is the knowledge
that the work you are accomplishing at NSA, within a framework of sound security practices,
contributes significantly to the defense and continued security of the United States of
I extend to you my very best wishes as you enter upon your chosen career or assignment with
Philip T. Pease
Director of Security
INITIAL SECURITY RESPONSIBILITIES
Perhaps one of the first security practices with which new NSA personnel should become
acquainted is the practice of anonymity. In an open society such as ours, this practice is
necessary because information which is generally available to the public is available also to
hostile intelligence. Therefore, the Agency mission is best accomplished apart from public
attention. Basically, anonymity means that NSA personnel are encouraged not to draw
attention to themselves nor to their association with this Agency. NSA personnel are also
cautioned neither to confirm nor deny any specific questions about NSA activities directed to
them by individuals not affiliated with the Agency.
The ramifications of the practice of anonymity are rather far reaching, and its success depends
on the cooperation of all Agency personnel. Described below you will find some examples of
situations that you may encounter concerning your employment and how you should cope
with them. Beyond the situations cited, your judgement and discretion will become the
deciding factors in how you respond to questions about your employment.
Answering Questions About Your Employment
Certainly, you may tell your family and friends that you are employed at or assigned to the
National Security Agency. There is no valid reason to deny them this information. However,
you may not disclose to them any information concerning specific aspects of the Agency's
mission, activities, and organization. You should also ask them not to publicize your
association with NSA.
Should strangers or casual acquaintances question you about your place of employment, an
appropriate reply would be that you work for the Department of Defense. If questioned further
as to where you are employed within the Department of Defense, you may reply, "NSA."
When you inform someone that you work for NSA (or the Department of Defense) you may
expect that the next question will be, "What do you do?" It is a good idea to anticipate this
question and to formulate an appropriate answer. Do not act mysteriously about your
employment, as that would only succeed in drawing more attention to yourself.
If you are employed as a secretary, engineer, computer scientist, or in a clerical,
administrative, technical, or other capacity identifiable by a general title which in no way
indicates how your talents are being applied to the mission of the Agency, it is suggested that
you state this general title. If you are employed as a linguist, you may say that you are a
linguist, if necessary. However, you should not indicate the specific language(s) with which
you are involved.
The use of service specialty titles which tend to suggest or reveal the nature of the Agency's
mission or specific aspects of their work. These professional titles, such as cryptanalyst,
signals collection officer, and intelligence research analyst, if given verbatim to an outsider,
would likely generate further questions which may touch upon the classified aspects of your
work. Therefore, in conversation with outsiders, it is suggested that such job titles be
generalized. For example, you might indicate that you are a "research analyst." You may not,
however, discuss the specific nature of your analytic work.
Answering Questions About Your Agency Training
During your career or assignment at NSA, there is a good chance that you will receive some
type of job-related training. In many instances the nature of the training is not classified.
However, in some situations the specialized training you receive will relate directly to
sensitive Agency functions. In such cases, the nature of this training may not be discussed
with persons outside of this Agency.
If your training at the Agency includes language training, your explanation for the source of
your linguistic knowledge should be that you obtained it while working for the Department of
You Should not draw undue attention to your language abilities, and you may not discuss how
you apply your language skill at the Agency.
If you are considering part-time employment which requires the use of language or technical
skills similar to those required for the performance of your NSA assigned duties, you must
report (in advance) the anticipated part-time work through your Staff Security Officer (SSO)
to the Office of Security's Clearance Division (M55).
Verifying Your Employment
On occasion, personnel must provide information concerning their employment to credit
institutions in connection with various types of applications for credit. In such situations you
may state, if you are a civilian employee, that you are employed by NSA and indicate your
pay grade or salary. Once again, generalize your job title. If any further information is desired
by persons or firms with whom you may be dealing, instruct them to request such information
by correspondence addressed to: Director of Civilian Personnel, National Security Agency,
Fort George G. Meade, Maryland 20755-6000. Military personnel should use their support
group designator and address when indicating their current assignment.
If you contemplate leaving NSA for employment elsewhere, you may be required to submit a
resume/job application, or to participate in extensive employment interviews. In such
circumstances, you should have your resume reviewed by the Classification Advisory Officer
(CAO) assigned to your organization. Your CAO will ensure that any classified operational
details of your duties have been excluded and will provide you with an unclassified job
description. Should you leave the Agency before preparing such a resume, you may develop
one and send it by registered mail to the NSA/CSS Information Policy Division (Q43) for
review. Remember, your obligation to protect sensitive Agency information extends beyond
your employment at NSA.
The Agency And Public News Media
From time to time you may find that the agency is the topic of reports or articles appearing in
public news media--newspapers, magazines, books, radio and TV. The NSA/CSS Information
Policy Division (Q43) represents the Agency in matters involving the press and other media.
This office serves at the Agency's official media center and is the Director's liaison office for
public relations, both in the community and with other government agencies. The Information
Policy Division must approve the release of all information for and about NSA, its mission,
activities, and personnel. In order to protect the aspects of Agency operations, NSA personnel
must refrain from either confirming or denying any information concerning the Agency or its
activities which may appear in the public media. If you are asked about the activities of NSA,
the best response is "no comment." You should the notify Q43 of the attempted inquiry. For
the most part, public references to NSA are based upon educated guesses. The Agency does
not normally make a practice of issuing public statements about its activities.
Espionage And Terrorism
During your security indoctrination and throughout your NSA career you will become
increasingly aware of the espionage and terrorist threat to the United States. Your vigilance is
the best single defense in protecting NSA information, operations, facilities and people. Any
information that comes to your attention that suggests to you the existence of, or potential for,
espionage or terrorism against the U.S. or its allies must be promptly reported by you to the
Office of Security.
There should be no doubt in your mind about the reality of the threats. You are now affiliated
with the most sensitive agency in government and are expected to exercise vigilance and
common sense to protect NSA against these threats.
Originators of correspondence, communications, equipment, or documents within the Agency
are responsible for ensuring that the proper classification, downgrading information and,
when appropriate, proper caveat notations are assigned to such material. (This includes any
handwritten notes which contain classified information). The three levels of classification are
Confidential, Secret and Top Secret. The NSA Classification Manual should be used as
guidance in determining proper classification. If after review of this document you need
assistance, contact the Classification Advisory Officer (CAO) assigned to your organization,
or the Information Policy Division (Q43).
Classified information is disseminated only on a strict "need-to-know" basis. The "need-toknow"
policy means that classified information will be disseminated only to those individuals
who, in addition to possessing a proper clearance, have a requirement to know this
information in order to perform their official duties (need-to-know). No person is entitled to
classified information solely by virtue of office, position, rank, or security clearance.
All NSA personnel have the responsibility to assert the "need-to-know" policy as part of their
responsibility to protect sensitive information. Determination of "need-to-know" is a
supervisory responsibility. This means that if there is any doubt in your mind as to an
individual's "need-to-know," you should always check with your supervisor before releasing
any classified material under your control.
For Official Use Only
Separate from classified information is information or material marked "FOR OFFICIAL
USE ONLY" (such as this handbook). This designation is used to identify that official
information or material which, although unclassified, is exempt from the requirement for
public disclosure of information concerning government activities and which, for a significant
reason, should not be given general circulation. Each holder of "FOR OFFICAL USE ONLY"
(FOUO) information or material is authorized to disclose such information or material to
persons in other departments or agencies of the Executive and Judicial branches when it is
determined that the information or material is required to carry our a government function.
The recipient must be advised that the information or material is not to be disclosed to the
general public. Material which bears the "FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY" caveat does not
come under the regulations governing the protection of classified information. The
unauthorized disclosure of information marked "FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY" does not
constitute an unauthorized disclosure of classified defense information. However, Department
of Defense and NSA regulations prohibit the unauthorized disclosure of information
designated "FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY." Appropriate administrative action will be taken to
determine responsibility and to apply corrective and/or disciplinary measures in cases of
unauthorized disclosure of information which bears the "FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY"
caveat. Reasonable care must be exercised in limiting the dissemination of "FOR OFFICIAL
USE ONLY" information. While you may take this handbook home for further study,
remember that is does contain "FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY" information which should be
All NSA personnel (employees, military assignees, and contractors) must submit for review
any planned articles, books, speeches, resumes, or public statements that may contain
classified, classifiable, NSA-derived, or unclassified protected information, e.g., information
relating to the organization, mission, functions, or activities of NSA. Your obligation to
protect this sensitive information is a lifetime one. Even when you resign, retire, or otherwise
end your affiliation with NSA, you must submit this type of material for prepublication
review. For additional details, contact the Information Policy Division (Q43) for an
explanation of prepublication review procedures.
Personnel Security Responsibilities
Perhaps you an recall your initial impression upon entering an NSA facility. Like most
people, you probably noticed the elaborate physical security safeguards--fences, concrete
barriers, Security Protective Officers, identification badges, etc. While these measures provide
a substantial degree of protection for the information housed within our buildings, they
represent only a portion of the overall Agency security program. In fact, vast amounts of
information leave our facilities daily in the minds of NSA personnel, and this is where our
greatest vulnerability lies. Experience has indicated that because of the vital information we
work with at NSA, Agency personnel may become potential targets for hostile intelligence
efforts. Special safeguards are therefore necessary to protect our personnel.
Accordingly, the Agency has an extensive personnel security program which establishes
internal policies and guidelines governing employee conduct and activities. These policies
cover a variety of topics, all of which are designed to protect both you and the sensitive
information you will gain through your work at NSA.
Association With Foreign Nationals
As a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and by virtue of your access to sensitive
information, you are a potential target for hostile intelligence activities carried out by or on
behalf of citizens of foreign countries. A policy concerning association with foreign nationals
has been established by the Agency to minimize the likelihood that its personnel might
become subject to undue influence or duress or targets of hostile activities through foreign
As an NSA affiliate, you are prohibited from initiating or maintaining associations (regardless
of the nature and degree) with citizens or officials of communist-controlled, or other countries
which pose a significant threat to the security of the United States and its interests. A
comprehensive list of these designated countries is available from your Staff Security Officer
or the Security Awareness Division. Any contact with citizens of these countries, no matter
how brief or seemingly innocuous, must be reported as soon as possible to your Staff Security
Officer (SSO). (Individuals designated as Staff Security Officers are assigned to every
organization; a listing of Staff Security Officers can be found at the back of this handbook).
Additionally, close and continuing associations with any non-U.S. citizens which are
characterized by ties of kinship, obligation, or affection are prohibited. A waiver to this policy
may be granted only under the most exceptional circumstances when there is a truly
compelling need for an individual's services or skills and the security risk is negligible.
In particular, a waiver must be granted in advance of a marriage to or cohabitation with a
foreign national in order to retain one's access to NSA information. Accordingly, any intent to
cohabitate with or marry a non-U.S. citizen must be reported immediately to your Staff
Security Officer. If a waiver is granted, future reassignments both at headquarters and
overseas may be affected.
The marriage or intended marriage of an immediate family member (parents, siblings,
children) to a foreign national must also be reported through your SSO to the Clearance
Casual social associations with foreign nationals (other than those of the designated countries
mentioned above) which arise from normal living and working arrangements in the
community usually do not have to be reported. During the course of these casual social
associations, you are encouraged to extend the usual social amenities. Do not act mysteriously
or draw attention to yourself (and possibly to NSA) by displaying an unusually wary attitude.
Naturally, your affiliation with the Agency and the nature of your work should not be
discussed. Again, you should be careful not to allow these associations to become close and
continuing to the extent that they are characterized by ties of kinship, obligation, or affection.
If at any time you feel that a "casual" association is in any way suspicious, you should report
this to your Staff Security Officer immediately. Whenever any doubt exists as to whether or
not a situation should be reported or made a matter of record, you should decided in favor of
reporting it. In this way, the situation can be evaluated on its own merits, and you can be
advised as to your future course of action.
Correspondence With Foreign Nationals
NSA personnel are discouraged from initiating correspondence with individuals who are
citizens of foreign countries. Correspondence with citizens of communist-controlled or other
designated countries is prohibited. Casual social correspondence, including the "penpal"
variety, with other foreign acquaintances is acceptable and need not be reported. If, however,
this correspondence should escalate in its frequency or nature, you should report that through
your Staff Security Officer to the Clearance Division (M55).
Since a significant percentage of all espionage activity is known to be conducted through
foreign embassies, consulates, etc., Agency policy discourages visits to embassies, consulates
or other official establishments of a foreign government. Each case, however, must be judged
on the circumstances involved. Therefore, if you plan to visit a foreign embassy for any
reason (even to obtain a visa), you must consult with, and obtain the prior approval of, your
immediate supervisor and the Security Awareness Division (M56).
Amateur Radio Activities
Amateur radio (ham radio) activities are known to be exploited by hostile intelligence services
to identify individuals with access to classified information; therefore, all licensed operators
are expected to be familiar with NSA/CSS Regulation 100-1, "Operation of Amateur Radio
Stations" (23 October 1986). The specific limitations on contacts with operators from
communist and designated countries are of particular importance. If you are an amateur radio
operator you should advise the Security Awareness Division (M56) of your amateur radio
activities so that detailed guidance may be furnished to you.
Unofficial Foreign Travel
In order to further protect sensitive information from possible compromise resulting from
terrorism, coercion, interrogation or capture of Agency personnel by hostile nations and/or
terrorist groups, the Agency has established certain policies and procedures concerning
unofficial foreign travel.
All Agency personnel (civilian employees, military assignees, and contractors) who are
planning unofficial foreign travel must have that travel approved by submitting a proposed
itinerary to the Security Awareness Division (M56) at least 30 working days prior to their
planned departure from the United States. Your itinerary should be submitted on Form K2579
(Unofficial Foreign Travel Request). This form provides space for noting the countries to be
visited, mode of travel, and dates of departure and return. Your immediate supervisor must
sign this form to indicate whether or not your proposed travel poses a risk to the sensitive
information, activities, or projects of which you may have knowledge due to your current
After your supervisor's assessment is made, this form should be forwarded to the Security
Awareness Director (M56). Your itinerary will then be reviewed in light of the existing
situation in the country or countries to be visited, and a decision for approval or disapproval
will be based on this assessment. The purpose of this policy is to limit the risk of travel to
areas of the world where a threat may exist to you and to your knowledge of classified
In this context, travel to communist-controlled and other hazardous activity areas is
prohibited. A listing of these hazardous activity areas is prohibited. A listing of these
hazardous activity areas can be found in Annex A of NSA/CSS Regulation No. 30-31,
"Security Requirements for Foreign Travel" (12 June 1987). From time to time, travel may
also be prohibited to certain areas where the threat from hostile intelligence services,
terrorism, criminal activity or insurgency poses an unacceptable risk to Agency employees
and to the sensitive information they possess. Advance travel deposits made without prior
agency approval of the proposed travel may result in financial losses by the employee should
the travel be disapproved, so it is important to obtain approval prior to committing yourself
financially. Questions regarding which areas of the world currently pose a threat should be
directed to the Security Awareness Division (M56).
Unofficial foreign travel to Canada, the Bahamas, Bermuda, and Mexico does not require
prior approval, however, this travel must still be reported using Form K2579. Travel to these
areas may be reported after the fact.
While you do not have to report your foreign travel once you have ended your affiliation with
the Agency, you should be aware that the risk incurred in travelling to certain areas, from a
personal safety and/or counterintelligence standpoint, remains high. The requirement to
protect the classified information to which you have had access is a lifetime obligation.
Membership In Organizations
Within the United States there are numerous organizations with memberships ranging from a
few to tens of thousands. While you may certainly participate in the activities of any reputable
organization, membership in any international club or professional organization/activity with
foreign members should be reported through your Staff Security Officer to the Clearance
Division (M55). In most cases there are no security concerns or threats to our employees or
affiliates. However, the Office of Security needs the opportunity to research the organization
and to assess any possible risk to you and the information to which you have access.
In addition to exercising prudence in your choice of organizational affiliations, you should
endeavor to avoid participation in public activities of a conspicuously controversial nature
because such activities could focus undesirable attention upon you and the Agency. NSA
employees may, however, participate in bona fide public affairs such as local politics, so long
as such activities do not violate the provisions of the statutes and regulations which govern the
political activities of all federal employees. Additional information may be obtained from
your Personnel Representative.
Changes In Marital Status/Cohabitation/Names
All personnel, either employed by or assigned to NSA, must advise the Office of Security of
any changes in their marital status (either marriage or divorce), cohabitation arrangements, or
legal name changes. Such changes should be reported by completing NSA Form G1982
(Report of Marriage/Marital Status Change/Name Change), and following the instructions
printed on the form.
Use And Abuse Of Drugs
It is the policy of the National Security Agency to prevent and eliminate the improper use of
drugs by Agency employees and other personnel associated with the Agency. The term
"drugs" includes all controlled drugs or substances identified and listed in the Controlled
Substances Act of 1970, as amended, which includes but is not limited to: narcotics,
depressants, stimulants, cocaine, hallucinogens ad cannabis (marijuana, hashish, and hashish
oil). The use of illegal drugs or the abuse of prescription drugs by persons employed by,
assigned or detailed to the Agency may adversely affect the national security; may have a
serious damaging effect on the safety and the safety of others; and may lead to criminal
prosecution. Such use of drugs either within or outside Agency controlled facilities is
Physical Security Policies
The physical security program at NSA provides protection for classified material and
operations and ensures that only persons authorized access to the Agency's spaces and
classified material are permitted such access. This program is concerned not only with the
Agency's physical plant and facilities, but also with the internal and external procedures for
safeguarding the Agency's classified material and activities. Therefore, physical security
safeguards include Security Protective Officers, fences, concrete barriers, access control
points, identification badges, safes, and the compartmentalization of physical spaces. While
any one of these safeguards represents only a delay factor against attempts to gain
unauthorized access to NSA spaces and material, the total combination of all these safeguards
represents a formidable barrier against physical penetration of NSA. Working together with
personnel security policies, they provide "security in depth."
The physical security program depends on interlocking procedures. The responsibility for
carrying out many of these procedures rests with the individual. This means you, and every
person employed by, assign, or detailed to the Agency, must assume the responsibility for
protecting classified material. Included in your responsibilities are: challenging visitors in
operational areas; determining "need-to-know;" limiting classified conversations to approved
areas; following established locking and checking procedures; properly using the secure and
non-secure telephone systems; correctly wrapping and packaging classified data for
transmittal; and placing classified waste in burn bags.
The NSA Badge
Even before you enter an NSA facility, you have a constant reminder of security--the NSA
badge. Every person who enters an NSA installation is required to wear an authorized badge.
To enter most NSA facilities your badge must be inserted into an Access Control Terminal at
a building entrance and you must enter your Personal Identification Number (PIN) on the
terminal keyboard. In the absence of an Access Control Terminal, or when passing an internal
security checkpoint, the badge should be held up for viewing by a Security Protective Officer.
The badge must be displayed at all times while the individual remains within any NSA
NSA Badges must be clipped to a beaded neck chain. If necessary for the safety of those
working in the area of electrical equipment or machinery, rubber tubing may be used to
insulate the badge chain. For those Agency personnel working in proximity to other
machinery or equipment, the clip may be used to attach the badge to the wearer's clothing, but
it must also remain attached to the chain.
After you leave an NSA installation, remove your badge from public view, thus avoiding
publicizing your NSA affiliation. Your badge should be kept in a safe place which is
convenient enough to ensure that you will be reminded to bring it with you to work. A good
rule of thumb is to afford your badge the same protection you give your wallet or your credit
cards. DO NOT write your Personal Identification Number on your badge.
If you plan to be away from the Agency for a period of more than 30 days, your badge should
be left at the main Visitor Control Center which services your facility.
Should you lose your badge, you must report the facts and circumstances immediately to the
Security Operations Center (SOC) (963-3371s/688-6911b) so that your badge PIN can be
deactivated in the Access Control Terminals. In the event that you forget your badge when
reporting for duty, you may obtain a "non-retention" Temporary Badge at the main Visitor
Control Center which serves your facility after a co-worker personally identifies your and
your clearance has been verified.
Your badge is to be used as identification only within NSA facilities or other government
installations where the NSA badge is recognized. Your badge should never be used outside of
the NSA or other government facilities for the purpose of personal identification. You should
obtain a Department of Defense identification card from the Civilian Welfare Fund (CWF) if
you need to identify yourself as a government employee when applying for "government
discounts" offered at various commercial establishments.
Your badge color indicates your particular affiliation with NSA and your level of clearance.
Listed below are explanations of the badge colors you are most likely to see:
· Green (*) Fully cleared NSA employees and certain military assignees.
· Orange (*) (or Gold) Fully cleared representative of other government agencies.
· Black (*) Fully cleared contractors or consultants.
· Blue Employees who are cleared to the SECRET level while awaiting completion of
their processing for full (TS/SI) clearance. These Limited Interim Clearance (LIC)
employees are restricted to certain activities while inside a secure area.
· Red Clearance level is not specified, so assume the holder is uncleared.
* - Fully cleared status means that the person has been cleared to the Top Secret (TS) level
and indoctrinated for Special Intelligence (SI).
All badges with solid color backgrounds (permanent badges) are kept by individuals until
their NSA employment or assignment ends. Striped badges ("non-retention" badges) are
generally issued to visitors and are returned to the Security Protective Officer upon departure
from an NSA facility.
Within NSA installations there are generally two types of areas, Administrative and Secure.
An Administrative Area is one in which storage of classified information is not authorized,
and in which discussions of a classified nature are forbidden. This type of area would include
the corridors, restrooms, cafeterias, visitor control areas, credit union, barber shop, and
drugstore. Since uncleared, non-NSA personnel are often present in these areas, all Agency
personnel must ensure that no classified information is discussed in an Administrative Area.
Classified information being transported within Agency facilities must be placed within
envelopes, folders, briefcases, etc. to ensure that its contents or classification markings are not
disclosed to unauthorized persons, or that materials are not inadvertently dropped enroute.
The normal operational work spaces within an NSA facility are designated Secure Areas.
These areas are approved for classified discussions and for the storage of classified material.
Escorts must be provided if it is necessary for uncleared personnel (repairmen, etc.) to enter
Secure Areas, an all personnel within the areas must be made aware of the presence of
uncleared individuals. All unknown, unescorted visitors to Secure Areas should be
immediately challenged by the personnel within the area, regardless of the visitors' clearance
level (as indicated by their badge color).
The corridor doors of these areas must be locked with a deadbolt and all classified
information in the area must be properly secured after normal working hours or whenever the
area is unoccupied. When storing classified material, the most sensitive material must be
stored in the most secure containers. Deadbolt keys for doors to these areas must be returned
to the key desk at the end of the workday.
For further information regarding Secure Areas, consult the Physical Security Division (M51)
or your staff Security Officer.
Items Treated As Classified
For purposes of transportation, storage and destruction, there are certain types of items which
must be treated as classified even though they may not contain classified information. Such
items include carbon paper, vu-graphs, punched machine processing cards, punched paper
tape, magnetic tape, computer floppy disks, film, and used typewriter ribbons. This special
treatment is necessary since a visual examination does not readily reveal whether the items
contain classified information.
Because of the potential security or safety hazards, certain items are prohibited under normal
circumstances from being brought into or removed from any NSA installation. These items
have been groped into two general classes. Class I prohibited items are those which constitute
a threat to the safety and security of NSA/CSS personnel and facilities. Items in this category
· Firearms and ammunition
· Explosives, incendiary substances, radioactive materials, highly volatile materials, or
other hazardous materials
· Contraband or other illegal substances
· Personally owned photographic or electronic equipment including microcomputers,
reproduction or recording devices, televisions or radios.
Prescribed electronic medical equipment is normally not prohibited, but requires coordination
with the Physical Security Division (M51) prior to being brought into any NSA building.
Class II prohibited items are those owned by the government or contractors which constitute a
threat to physical, technical, or TEMPEST security. Approval by designated organizational
officials is required before these items can be brought into or removed from NSA facilities.
· Transmitting and receiving equipment
· Recording equipment and media
· Telephone equipment and attachments
· Computing devices and terminals
· Photographic equipment and film
A more detailed listing of examples of Prohibited Items may be obtained from your Staff
Security Officer or the Physical Security Division (M51).
Additionally, you may realize that other seemingly innocuous items are also restricted and
should not be brought into any NSA facility. Some of these items pose a technical threat;
others must be treated as restricted since a visual inspection does not readily reveal whether
they are classified. These items include:
· Negatives from processed film; slides; vu-graphs
· Magnetic media such as floppy disks, cassette tapes, and VCR videotapes
· Remote control devices for telephone answering machines
As you depart NSA facilities, you will note another physical security safeguard--the
inspection of the materials you are carrying. This inspection of your materials, conducted by
Security Protective Officers, is designed to preclude the inadvertent removal of classified
material. It is limited to any articles that you are carrying out of the facility and may include
letters, briefcases, newspapers, notebooks, magazines, gym bags, and other such items.
Although this practice may involve some inconvenience, it is conducted in your best interest,
as well as being a sound security practice. The inconvenience can be considerably reduced if
you keep to a minimum the number of personal articles that you remove from the Agency.
Removal Of Material From NSA Spaces
The Agency maintains strict controls regarding the removal of material from its installations,
particularly in the case of classified material.
Only under a very limited and official circumstances classified material be removed from
Agency spaces. When deemed necessary, specific authorization is required to permit an
individual to hand carry classified material out of an NSA building to another Secure Area.
Depending on the material and circumstances involved, there are several ways to accomplish
A Courier Badge authorizes the wearer, for official purposes, to transport classified material,
magnetic media, or Class II prohibited items between NSA facilities. These badges, which are
strictly controlled, are made available by the Physical Security Division (M51) only to those
offices which have specific requirements justifying their use.
An Annual Security Pass may be issued to individuals whose official duties require that they
transport printed classified materials, information storage media, or Class II prohibited items
to secure locations within the local area. Materials carried by an individual who displays this
pass are subject to spot inspection by Security Protective Officers or other personnel from the
Office of Security. It is not permissible to use an Annual Security Pass for personal
convenience to circumvent inspection of your personal property by perimeter Security
If you do not have access to a Courier Badge and you have not been issued an Annual
Security Pass, you may obtain a One-Time Security Pass to remove classified
materials/magnetic media or admit or remove prohibited items from an NSA installation.
These passes may be obtained from designated personnel in your work element who have
been given authority to issue them. The issuing official must also contact the Security
Operations Center (SOC) to obtain approval for the admission or removal of a Class I
When there is an official need to remove government property which is not magnetic media,
or a prohibited or classified item, a One-Time Property Pass is used. This type of pass (which
is not a Security Pass) may be obtained from your element custodial property officer. A
Property Pass is also to be used when an individual is removing personal property which
might be reasonably be mistaken for unclassified Government property. This pass is
surrendered to the Security Protective Officer at the post where the material is being removed.
Use of this pass does not preclude inspection of the item at the perimeter control point by the
Security Protective Officer or Security professionals to ensure that the pass is being used
External Protection Of Classified Information
On those occasions when an individual must personally transport classified material between
locations outside of NSA facilities, the individual who is acting as the courier must ensure
that the material receives adequate protection. Protective measures must include double
wrapping and packaging of classified information, keeping the material under constant
control, ensuring the presence of a second appropriately cleared person when necessary, and
delivering the material to authorized persons only. If you are designated as a courier outside
the local area, contact the Security Awareness Division (M56) for your courier briefing.
Even more basic than these procedures is the individual security responsibility to confine
classified conversations to secure areas. Your home, car pool, and public places are not
authorized areas to conduct classified discussions--even if everyone involved in he discussion
possesses a proper clearance and "need-to-know." The possibility that a conversation could be
overheard by unauthorized persons dictates the need to guard against classified discussions in
Classified information acquired during the course of your career or assignment to NSA may
not be mentioned directly, indirectly, or by suggestion in personal diaries, records, or
Reporting Loss Or Disclosure Of Classified Information
The extraordinary sensitivity of the NSA mission requires the prompt reporting of any known,
suspected, or possible unauthorized disclosure of classified information, or the discovery that
classified information may be lost, or is not being afforded proper protection. Any
information coming to your attention concerning the loss or unauthorized disclosure of
classified information should be reported immediately to your supervisor, your Staff Security
Officer, or the Security Operations Center (SOC).
Use Of Secure And Non-Secure Telephones
Two separate telephone systems have been installed in NSA facilities for use in the conduct of
official Agency business: the secure telephone system (gray telephone) and the outside, nonsecure
telephone system (black telephone). All NSA personnel must ensure that use of either
telephone system does not jeopardize the security of classified information.
The secure telephone system is authorized for discussion of classified information. Personnel
receiving calls on the secure telephone may assume that the caller is authorized to use the
system. However, you must ensure that the caller has a "need-to-know" the information you
will be discussing.
The outside telephone system is only authorized for unclassified official Agency business
calls. The discussion of classified information is not permitted on this system. Do not attempt
to use "double-talk" in order to discuss classified information over the non-secure telephone
In order to guard against the inadvertent transmission of classified information over a nonsecure
telephone, and individual using the black telephone in an area where classified
activities are being conducted must caution other personnel in the area that the non-secure
telephone is in use. Likewise, you should avoid using the non-secure telephone in the vicinity
of a secure telephone which is also in use.
In the fulfillment of your security responsibilities, you should be aware that there are many
resources available to assist you. If you have any questions or concerns regarding security at
NSA or your individual security responsibilities, your supervisor should be consulted.
Additionally, Staff Security Officers are appointed to the designated Agency elements to
assist these organizations in carrying out their security responsibilities. There is a Staff
Security Officer assigned to each organization; their phone numbers are listed at the back of
this handbook. Staff Security Officers also provide guidance to and monitor the activities of
Security Coordinators and Advisors (individuals who, in addition to their operational duties
within their respective elements, assist element supervisors or managers in discharging
Within the Office of Security, the Physical Security Division (M51) will offer you assistance
in matters such as access control, security passes, clearance verification, combination locks,
keys, identification badges, technical security, and the Security Protective Force. The Security
Awareness Division (M56) provides security guidance and briefings regarding unofficial
foreign travel, couriers, special access, TDY/PCS, and amateur radio activities. The Industrial
and Field Security Division (M52) is available to provide security guidance concerning NSA
contractor and field site matters.
The Security Operations Center (SOC) is operated by two Security Duty Officers (SDOs), 24
hours a day, 7 days a week. The SDO, representing the Office of Security, provides a
complete range of security services to include direct communications with fire and rescue
personnel for all Agency area facilities. The SDO is available to handle any physical or
personnel problems that may arise, and if necessary, can direct your to the appropriate
security office that can assist you. After normal business hours, weekends, and holidays, the
SOC is the focal point for all security matters for all Agency personnel and facilities (to
include Agency field sites and contractors). The SOC is located in Room 2A0120, OPS 2A
building and the phone numbers are 688-6911(b), 963-3371(s).
However, keep in mind that you may contact any individual or any division within the Office
of Security directly. Do not hesitate to report any information which may affect the security of
the Agency's mission, information, facilities or personnel.
In addition to Office of Security resources, there are a number of professional, security-related
services available for assistance in answering your questions or providing the services which
The Installations and Logistics Organization (L) maintains the system for the collection and
destruction of classified waste, and is also responsible for the movement and scheduling of
material via NSA couriers and the Defense Courier Service (DCS). Additionally, L monitors
the proper addressing, marking, and packaging of classified material being transmitted outside
of NSA; maintains records pertaining to receipt and transmission of controlled mail; and
issues property passes for the removal of unclassified property.
The NSA Office of Medical Services (M7) has a staff of physicians, clinical psychologists
and an alcoholism counselor. All are well trained to help individuals help themselves in
dealing with their problems. Counseling services, with referrals to private mental health
professionals when appropriate, are all available to NSA personnel. Appointments can be
obtained by contacting M7 directly. When an individual refers himself/herself, the
information discussed in the counseling sessions is regarded as privileged medical
information and is retained exclusively in M7 unless it pertains to the national security.
Counselling interviews are conducted by the Office of Civilian Personnel (M3) with any
civilian employee regarding both on and off-the-job problems. M3 is also available to assist
all personnel with the personal problems seriously affecting themselves or members of their
families. In cases of serious physical or emotional illness, injury, hospitalization, or other
personal emergencies, M3 informs concerned Agency elements and maintains liaison with
family members in order to provide possible assistance. Similar counselling services are
available to military assignees through Military Personnel (M2).
GUIDE TO SECURITY
M51 PHYSICAL SECURITY 963-6651s/688-8293b (FMHQ)
CONFIRM and badges Prohibited Items
Locks, keys, safes and alarms SOC (963-3371s/688-6911b)
Security/vehicle passes NSA facility protection and compliance
Red/blue seal areas New Construction
Pass Clearances (963-4780s/688-6759b)
M52 INDUSTRIAL AND FIELD SECURITY
Security at contractor field site facilities
Verification of classified mailing addresses for contractor facilities
M53 INVESTIGATIONS 982-7914s/859-6464b
Personnel Interview Program (PIP) Reinvestigations
Military Interview Program (MIP) Special investigations
M54 COUNTERINTELLIGENCE 982-7832s/859-6424b
Security counterintelligence analysis Security compromises
M55 CLEARANCES 982-7900s/859-4747b
Privacy Act Officer (For review of security files) Continued SCI
Contractor/applicant processing Military access
M56 SECURITY AWARENESS 963-3273s/688-6535b
Security indoctrinations/debriefings Embassy visits
Associations with foreign nationals Briefings (foreign travel,
Security Week ham radio, courier,
Security posters, brochures, etc. LIC, PCS, TDY,
special access, etc.)
Foreign travel approval
Military contractor orientation
Special Access Office (963-5466s/688-6353b)
M57 POLYGRAPH 982-7844s/859-6363b
M509 MANAGEMENT AND POLICY STAFF 982-7885s/859-6350b
STAFF SECURITY OFFICERS (SSOs)
Element Room Secure/Non-Secure
A 2A0852B 963-4650/688-7044
B 3W099 963-4559/688-7141
D/Q/J/N/U 2B8066G 963-4496/688-6614
E/M D3B17 968-8050/859-6669
G 9A195 963-5033/688-7902
K 2B5136 963-1978/688-5052
L SAB4 977-7230/688-6194
P 2W091 963-5302/688-7303
R B6B710 968-4073/859-4736
S/V/Y/C/X C2A55 972-2144/688-7549
T 2B5040 963-4543/688-7364
W 1C181 963-5970/688-7061
GUIDE TO SECURITY-RELATED SERVICES
Agency Anonymity 968-8251/859-4381
Alcohol Rehabilitation Program 963-5420/688-7312
Cipher Lock Repair 963-1221/688-7119
Courier Schedules (local) 977-7197/688-7403
Defense Courier Service 977-7117/688-7826
Disposal of Classified Waste
- Paper only 972-2150/688-6593
- Plastics, Metal, Film, etc 963-4103/688-7062
Mail Dissemination and Packaging 977-7117/688-7826
Medical Center (Fort Meade) 963-5429/688-7263
(Airport Square) 982-7800/859-6155
NSA/CSS Information Policy Division 963-5825/688-6527
- Civilian 982-7835/859-6577
- Air Force 963-3239/688-7980
- Army 963-3739/688-6393
- Navy 963-3439/688-7325
Property Passes (unclassified material) 977-7263/688-7800
Psychological Services 963-5429/688-7311
FREQUENTLY USED ACRONYMS/DESIGNATORS
ARFCOS Armed Forces Courier Service (now known as DCS)
AWOL Absent Without Leave
CAO Classification Advisory Officer
COB Close of Business
CWF Civilian Welfare Fund
DCS Defense Courier Service (formerly known as ARFCOS)
DoD Department of Defense
EOD Enter on Duty
FOUO For Official Use Only
M2 Office of Military Personnel
M3 Office of Civilian Personnel
M5 Office of Security
M7 Office of Medical Services
NCS National Cryptologic School
PCS Permanent Change of Station
PIN Personal Identification Number
Q43 Information Policy Division
SDO Security Duty Officer
SOC Security Operations Center
SPO Security Protective Officer
SSO Staff Security Officer
TDY Temporary Duty
UFT Unofficial Foreign Travel
A FINAL NOTE
The information you have just read is designed to serve as a guide to assist you in the conduct
of your security responsibilities. However, it by no means describes the extent of your
obligation to protect information vital to the defense of our nation. Your knowledge of
specific security regulations is part of a continuing process of education and experience. This
handbook is designed to provide the foundation of this knowledge and serve as a guide to the
development of an attitude of security awareness.
In the final analysis, security is an individual responsibility. As a participant in the activities
of the National Security Agency organization, you are urged to be always mindful of the
importance of the work being accomplished by NSA and of the unique sensitivity of the