NSA in fiction

NSA in fiction

One major portion of the signals intelligence body of the United States of America (U.S.), the National Security Agency (NSA), has been featured in spy fiction over the past two decades, as public awareness of its existence has grown.

The accuracy of the portrayals varies. Most spy authors lack an understanding of cryptography and cryptanalysis, even at a non-mathematical layman's terms. They often portray NSA personnel conducting extensive, risky, violent field operations which, if actually performed, would most likely be done by other organizations such as the CIA or various branches of the US military.

Books

*In the novel "Zeitgeist" by Bruce Sterling, the physical world could be shaped by ideas, and the NSA's orbiting cameras forced the normal rules to apply, and were used as a threat against the main character, who understood and used the true nature of the universe.
*The novel "Digital Fortress" by Dan Brown is based mainly in a (fictitious) part of the NSA's facility.
*In the 2003 novel Warpath by Jeffry Scott Hansen the character of Terrance Stewart is an undercover NSA operative who infiltrates a Detroit drug gang.
*In the 2005 novel 'The Circumference of Darkness' by Jack Henderson, the NSA attempts to coopt a hacker for its Total Information Awareness program.
*In the Tom Clancy novel Red Storm Rising the character Robert Toland is an NSA analayst. Typical for his books, he properly depicts the NSA as an agency specializing in SIGINT. The agency is also referenced in the novel "Teeth of the Tiger".
*In the 2005 published podcast novel 'Earthcore' by Scott Sigler, various NSA agents are depicted as being ultra-violent and power hungry.
*In the comic book XIII, the hero (whose name is not certain) is constantly tracked down by the NSA.
*The Lovecraftian science fiction novel "The Spiraling Worm" features an NSA agent Jack Dixon, who investigates alien intrusions upon the Earth.
*In Greg Iles' "The Footprints of God" the NSA attempts to build a supercomputer capable of thought equivalent to that of a human. The main character is a scientist for the project who tries to escape NSA custody after a fellow scientist is murdered by NSA agents.
* "Cryptonomicon" by Neal Stephenson ends one story thread with cryptographers who were crucial in winning World War II going on to found the NSA.
*Most of Patrick Robinson's books feature the NSA

Films

*The 1984 film "Starman" features a USG agent with an NSA badge (among others).
*The 1992 film "Sneakers" features NSA agents.
*The 1997 film "Good Will Hunting" mentions the NSA offering Will Hunting a job that he turns down.
*The 1998 film "Enemy of the State" shows rogue NSA agents tracking a man, using advanced microphones and real-time video from spy satellites.
*The 1998 film "Mercury Rising", based on a book of the same name, shows multiple NSA agents working on a cryptography code known as "Mercury." It also shows the attempted assassination of a child who breaks the NSA's unbreakable encryption code that he found in a magazine.
*The 2002 film "Die Another Day" shows an NSA agent named Giacinta 'Jinx' Johnson working with James Bond to defeat a villain.
*The 2004 film "The Incredibles" featured NSA agents protecting the identities of superheroes and supplying them with technology. However, in this film NSA stood for National Supers Agency, which seems to only share its three-letter acronym.
*The 2004 film "The Forgotten" featured NSA agents working in conjunction with an alien race, allowing them to kidnap human children.
*The 2007 film "Live Free or Die Hard" features NSA agents assisting the FBI Cyber Division, alongside with the main character of the film, John McClane, against an Internet-based terrorist organization who is systematically shutting down the United States.
*The film "xXx" (and its ) has the main character being recruited by the NSA.
*The 2007 film "The Simpsons Movie" depicts the NSA listening to and transcribing every telephone and public conversation in the US. This leads to Marge, Lisa, Bart and Maggie's capture by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
*The 2008 film "Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay" has an assistant director of the NSA providing a rational counterpoint to a rabid Homeland Security agent.
*In Liam Kyle Sullivan's short video "Txt Msg Brkup", a woman who works at the NSA is featured.

Games

*In the 2000 Nintendo 64 video game "Perfect Dark", Trent Easton, the corrupt head of the agency, uses agents to do his dirty work.
*The NSA also was included as a base for the fictional character Sam Fisher, the main character in Ubisoft's video game series "Splinter Cell".
*The game "" featured NSA agent Mya Starling working with James Bond.
*The game Rainbow Six Vegas 2 features NSA agents charged with trying to stop a major terrorist attack in Las Vegas.

Radio

* In the radio drama "Adventures in Odyssey", the main character's son (John would get hired to write programs from time to time) is a former employee of the NSA, a fact that plays into story arcs from 1989 through 1996.

Television

*In the 1968 episode , Agent Gary Seven has an ID card from the NSA.
*In the 1980s television program Scarecrow and Mrs. King, the titular characters were operatives for "The Agency," an allusion most likely to the NSA, as the agents mentioned that they're NOT CIA, but another government intelligence agency.
*The 1998-2001 UPN TV series Seven Days followed a fictional "special branch" of the NSA - "BACKSTEP" - involved with using time travel for national security.
*In the 1999 [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0144714/ Highlander: The Raven] episode [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0601472/ The Rogue] , Bert Myers claims to be from the NSA.
*Season 2 of the television series "24" featured the NSA as one of the organizations responsible for preventing the detonation of a nuclear bomb in Los Angeles. Roger Stanton, the fictional director of the NSA, is found to be a traitor, and the president ordered his interrogation and torture. In season 5 there is also a reference to communications intercepted by the NSA.
*In Numb3rs TV series, mathematician Charlie Eppes was mentioned in several episodes to have worked with the NSA as a consultant.
*In Jake 2.0 TV series, main protagonists work for the NSA.
*The NSA is in the TV series Burn Notice.
*In Chuck (TV series), the main character works with the NSA as well as the CIA.
*The main character of the DC animated series "The Zeta Project" is an infiltration robot whom the NSA believe has gone renegade. In reality, he has only decided that he no longer wishes to kill anyone.

References

External links

* [http://www.insigniaspoliciales.com NSA BADGE]
* [http://www.sfbg.com/entry.php?entry_id=656 The NSA's political fiction]
* [http://www.strategypage.com/militaryforums/13-350.aspx Subject: TV, movie and book renditions of CIA, NSA]
* [http://unevensteven2.blogspot.com/2007/08/pop-culture-gets-nsa-wrong-again.html Pop Culture Gets the NSA Wrong Again]
* [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_g1epc/is_bio/ai_2419200227 Tom Clancy St. James Encyclopedia of Pop Culture]
* [http://datelinehollywood.com/archives/2006/05/15/nsa-resolves-american-idol-phone-voting-controversy/ NSA RESOLVES ‘AMERICAN IDOL’ PHONE VOTING CONTROVERSY]
* [http://markorton.com/2006/01/czar-gwb-nsa-and-hollywood.html Czar GWB, NSA, and Hollywood]
* [http://www.c4i.org/spysats.html A LOOK AT . . . Spy Satellites & Hollywood from "The Washington Post"]


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