The National Security Agency or NSA, is an intelligence agency that is a part of the Department of Defense, and exists under a Director of National Intelligence. The NSA is primarily responsible for communications intelligence. One of the paramount aspects of this organization, and what it has a reputation worldwide for is cryptology, the science of codebreaking. During World War II, the NSA was officially formed by President Harry S. Truman in 1952, after it was a unit used to decipher coded communications. Currently, the NSA conducts worldwide data collection, and is known and feared to be bugging electronic systems to do this. The NSA’s actions have been the subject of controversy on several occasions, such as its spying on anti-Vietnam war leaders, and its participation in economic espionage. In 2013, the NSA has a number of secret surveillance programs uncovered to the public by Edward Snowden. This leaked information revealed that the NSA intercepted and stored the communications of over a billion people worldwide, those including, United States citizens. Also, it was then also known that the NSA tracks hundreds of millions of people’s movements using cellphone data. This had led to much speculation about the agency, not much is known of it, and so in many ways people fear that the NSA spies on them through their computer camera or cellphones. While this has mainly become a joke, many do fear the NSA, as some believe it is much larger in terms of workforce and budget than we know. The origins of the NSA can actually be traced back to 1917, specifically three weeks after Congress declared war in World War I. It all began with a code and cipher decryption unit which was known as the Cipher Bureau which was headquartered in Washington D.C. At this time the unit only consisted of the head, Herbert O. Yardley and two civilians clerks, and then would absorb the navy’s cryptanalysis functions (MI-8) in July 1918. After the war ended, this cryptographic section moved to New York City in 1919, where it continued its activities as the Code Compilation Company under Yardley. Eventually, however, the cryptographic section of military intelligence (MI-8), was disbanded, and the U.S government created the Cipher Bureau. This was also known as the Black Chamber, and was the United States’ first peacetime cryptanalytic organization. The Black Chamber was disguised as a New York city commercial code company, with the true mission of breaking communications of other nations. During World War II, the Signal Security Agency (SSA) was formed to intercept the decipher then communications of the Axis members. After the end of the war, the SSA was reorganized and renamed the Army Security Agency (ASA). In May of 1949, all cryptological activities were collected under an organization now called the Armed Forces Security Agency (AFSA). This organization had the task to direct Department of Defense communications and electronic intelligence activities. However, the AFSA was unable to do this, and failed to coordinate with other agencies and so it was improved, and finally made into the NSA. The creation of the NSA was a classified document, and so it was not known to the public, and was dubbed “No Such Agency”. The structure of the NSA begins with it being led by the Director of the National Security Agency, and he is assisted by a Deputy Director. The NSA also has an inspector General, who is the head of the General Counsel, and the Director of Compliance. Unlike other intelligence like the CIA, the NSA has never really disclosed its internal organizational structure. As of the mid-1990s the NSA has been organized into five Directorates; Operations, Technology and Systems, Information Systems Security, Information Systems Security, Plans Policy and Programs, and Support Services. Since the attacks on September 11th, the NSA programs have helped prevent terrorist attacks on more than 50 occasions. Once instance was the Najibullah Zazi, who confessed to plotting the bombing of a New York City subway system in 2009. The NSA’s surveillance program led officials to a suspect which was Zazi, which gave the FBI the chance to capture him. Also, the NSA was able to identify a previously unknown phone number of one of the co-conspirators linked to Zazi. Also, another bomb threat was avoided at the New York Stock Exchange. The NSA was monitoring a known extremist in Yemen, who was communicating with a man in Missouri. This provided information would lead the FBI to Khalid Ouazzani, and his co-conspirators, and this man also confessed to sending money to al-Qaeda. One of the most paramount issues in the world today is also cyber security. With most of the today’s life exists online, the NSA has one of the most important jobs, which is to protect that security and information.