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National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)

Self Description

June 2007: "The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) provides timely, relevant, and accurate geospatial intelligence in support of national security objectives. Geospatial intelligence is the exploitation and analysis of imagery and geospatial information to describe, assess, and visually depict physical features and geographically referenced activities on the Earth. Information collected and processed by NGA is tailored for customer-specific solutions. By giving customers ready access to geospatial intelligence, NGA provides support to civilian and military leaders and contributes to the state of readiness of U.S. military forces. NGA also contributes to humanitarian efforts such as tracking floods and fires, and in peacekeeping.

NGA is a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and a Department of Defense (DoD) Combat Support Agency. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., NGA operates major facilities in the St. Louis, Mo. and Washington, D.C. areas. The Agency also fields support teams worldwide."

Third-Party Descriptions

June 2008: "Earlier this week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is supposed to manage federal disaster relief efforts, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which directs the operations of picture-taking spy satellites and analyzes their output, issued a statement describing how they were currently working together to help out with flood-relief efforts in the Midwest."

June 2007: "When the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency was created in 1995 as the primary collection agency for imagery and mapping, for example, it immediately began buying its software and much of its satellite imagery from commercial vendors; today, half of its 14,000 workers are full-time equivalent contractors who work inside NGA facilities but collect their paychecks from companies like Booz Allen Hamilton and Lockheed Martin."


RoleNameTypeLast Updated
Owned by (partial or full, past or present) Department of Defense (DOD)/Defense Department Organization Jun 8, 2007
Status/Name Change from National Imagery and Mapping Agency Organization Aug 17, 2013
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) General James R. Clapper Jr. Person Jul 26, 2007

Articles and Resources

Date Resource Read it at:
Jun 25, 2008 You're On Candid Camera: The Bush administration now wants to watch you from the sky. (Terror Watch)

QUOTE: expanding domestic use of picture-taking spy satellites...[Secretary Michael Chertoff] promised strict procedures to protect the rights of Americans, including obtaining court authorization for law enforcement-related surveillance operations where appropriate. Despite Chertoff's assurances, however, Harman said that Congress probably would not fully approve the program until the administration is more explicit about how it would operate.

Jun 01, 2007 The corporate takeover of U.S. intelligence: The U.S. government now outsources a vast portion of its spying operations to private firms -- with zero public accountability.

QUOTE: The federal government relies more than ever on outsourcing for some of its most sensitive work, though it has kept details about its use of private contractors a closely guarded secret. Intelligence experts, and even the government itself, have warned of a critical lack of oversight for the booming intelligence business.

Dec 03, 2006 Open-Source Spying

QUOTE: In the fall of 2005, [the D.N.I.] joined forces with C.I.A. wiki experts to build a prototype of something called Intellipedia, a wiki that any intelligence employee with classified clearance could read and contribute to. .... Is it possible to reconcile the needs of secrecy with such a radically open model for sharing?

New York Times