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CIA vs. NSA

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posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 10:40 AM
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I was wanting know peoples opinion. Which do think is more beneficial to the United States the CIA or NSA? Which one is a better program? Would which agency would you like to work for? Who has better technology? Which one runs more covert ops. ? I was just wanting to know what people thought regarding the two agencies.




posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 10:46 AM
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Which do think is more beneficial to the United States the CIA or NSA?
CIA

Which one is a better program? Would which agency would you like to work for? CIA

Who has better technology? CIA

Which one runs more covert ops. ? CIA



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 10:52 AM
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Why do you think the CIA is better? I mean the NSA gives better benefits.



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 11:02 AM
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Originally posted by alias101
Why do you think the CIA is better? I mean the NSA gives better benefits.

I thought you ask which is more beneficial to the USA, not me.

I think they have the same benefits, both require possible employees to fill out a federal form for emplyment. In most gov jobs the benefits are the same....some start you out at a higher pay, but the benefits are the same.

But, if I had the option of which one I could work for....I would say the CIA. Mainly because the travel, I love to travel.



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 11:12 AM
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Sorry about my clarity, I was just meaning both. I think you could travel with the NSA as well. I think the NSA is more technological advance then the CIA. I wonder if two are competitive with each other about which one is better.



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 12:43 PM
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Two different agencies with two different missions.

It's an apples-oranges comparison.



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 12:54 PM
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Exactly...

If truly deciding this for yourself, I'd suggest reading more to clarify which mission you would rather perform...

If in a general term, which is more covert, the NSA of course, however most would likely find employment with the CIA more flexible, especially if you're also looking to have a spouse, kids, etc. and lead a "normal" life one day.

Something to realize, is that most jobs with such agencies are NOT James Bond-like.... Most are desk jobs and "overt" in nature, rather than "covert". Be prepared for an EXTENSIVE background check and application process, as well as testing.



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 01:01 PM
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Well, the CIA is alot smaller than the NSA and does alot more clandestine missions than the NSA. The benefits are about the same. The NSA does more crypto-analysis and code breaking, while the CIA is the one that does the more covert reconnaissance and spying. I actually thought about a career at the CIA but I would have to go to college so...peace



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 01:06 PM
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Both are needed for the US, in my opinion. The CIA is supposed to only operate outside of our borders while the NSA is supposed to handle security issues within the borders. Even if the CIA had a 100% record and never let any terrorist or threat into the US, we would still have domestic terrorists like some of these animal rights groups, anti-abortion groups, and environmentalist groups.

One without the other would be like having soil without a plant, or vise versa.

So I would say they're both dependant on one another, and without one of them, the US would be at huge risk from threats, both foriegn and domestic.



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 01:45 PM
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The CIA has had more of a reputation for screwing things up more often than not. They have had a hand in nearly every illegal activity from drug smuggling to torture and assassination. One of our countries blackest sheep, and quite possibly a major tool for the hidden government.

The NSA collects and studies information gathered, less operatives more technology. They are all about the facts and how they truely fit together. Where as the CIA is as has been seen, to be only interested in further financing it already shady operations, by any and all means available. This is more of a question on moral integrity. Do you want to have an honest job or one that is less so, in the extreame. Those in the government have many a time, disavowed agents in the CIA as well as blowing their cover. This is nearly unheard of with the NSA, there is no comparison. As individuals the people who go into the CIA are initially good intentioned, may be not everyone, the majority how ever is. Soon though the internal groups see who can get who, like clock work. Real world dark side vs the light, so to speak. NSA has less of a " community", than the CIA and is more focused on cooperation as well as getting it done right the first time.

This of course is my personal opinion, based on what can be learned from history and recent past.

Considering the CIAs past, perhaps the "whiter sheep" would be a more promising option among your given choices.
Research your question. Look into each in a matter such as if it was an investment, for long term. Given the track record of each, which is most likely to come out ahead?



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 03:17 PM
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As already mentioned you can't really compare them. Operative Intelligence is the CIA's field of business, whereas the NSA is basically wiretapping the world.

I always thought the NSA to be more interesting because of the HIGHLY advanced technology they are using.



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 03:19 PM
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Also, consider how selective each agency is in different areas. If you really want to do the "fun" stuff for the CIA (clandestine services), keep in mind that out of the thousands of applicants in 1999, something like 11 people were selected; most of whom had outstanding educational backgrounds and were already fluent in at least one other language of interest to the agency. People looking for analyst positions usually have demonstrated expert knowledge in specific areas of interest... do you? maybe sign up for a couple of years of military intelligence. that might help.

The NSA needs people who can mop a floor as much as anyone does, but they are generally looking for math PHD's and highly adept IT people. Thus, it might be easier to get into an intelligence career by being a network security guru. Not that the NSA is less selective, but... the education and background are more common, and it's a lot easier than getting a math phd or a decade's worth of defense intel jobs. you'd just have to be better than almost everyone else, have a squaky clean record, and be willing to relocate and lie to your family about your job!

(Now that i think about it, multi-language speech recognition and natural language parsing are pretty rare specialties in computer science/engineering and signal processing that the NSA would be appreciative of... if you're interested in these areas, get the education, write some papers and apply.)

When my application was not picked up by either agency, i was at first insulted... then i talked to a couple of "family friends" that had some ties, and i was reminded of just what kind of character it takes. i was no longer insulted, but rather... humbled and impressed.

[edit on 1-6-2005 by TheeStateMachine]



posted on Jun, 2 2005 @ 11:07 AM
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As TheeStateMachine points out NSA looks for the math/electronics/IT type. The CIA looks for a broader range of skills. I have a cousin who once worked the CIA (now retired). Her specialty was agriculture and basically monitored crops, food production, and food supply in selected regions of the world. She operated openly, no cloak and dagger stuff. The information she gathered was forwarded to DC where (presumably)analysts combined it with other information and tried to predict political instability in third world countries (a bad crop year means food shortages which can make governments fall). Or that was her cover story, anyway.

The James Bond type of operative really have a short service life. I heard the average is 5 years. Once the other countries' intelligence agencies have your photo and dossier you are no longer of much use in the field, so you are moved to a desk or some other overt job, or another agency.

NSA codebreakers and signal analysts spend their days huddled in windowless rooms looking at streams of numbers and letters on a computer screen, trying to figure out what it means. If you like working puzzles, that may be a good job choice.


A coworker's son, a CPA, was looking at the FBI as a career choice. But now has second thoughts. CPAs there spend their days looking over computer printouts of financial transactions, trying to find a money trail. You may be helping to crack a terrorist cell or drug smuggling ring, but the work itself is pretty boring.



posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 06:30 AM
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Originally posted by alias101
I was wanting know peoples opinion. Which do think is more beneficial to the United States the CIA or NSA? Which one is a better program? Would which agency would you like to work for? Who has better technology? Which one runs more covert ops. ? I was just wanting to know what people thought regarding the two agencies.


Apples and Oranges! They are two different Agencies with very different missions. We (the USA) need both of them. Let me lay it out for you:

National Security Agency (NSA): As it's name says, the NSA emphasizes the Security mission. NSA is much more technology oriented because they do work such as: making and breaking codes, Intercepting communications, Counterintelligence and Security operations. The NSA does have plenty of overseas stations such as Mendwith Hill in England and Pine Gap in Austraila.

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA): The CIA puts a lot of emphasis on HUMINT (using agents), and Satellites. They are also the ones who do most of the Covert Op's. If you are looking for feild work and travel, The CIA has it. They also do a lot of intelligence analysis. However as other have pointed out, the CIA has a Clouded reputation fallowing it. When people think of Intelligence blunders, the CIA usually comes to mind.

The question boils down to this: What do you like to do? Are you Tech oriented? Do you want to travel? They both have their stringths and weaknesses. As far as which one is better to work for, it's a matter of personal prefrence.



posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 09:08 AM
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Well.. I personally would like to work for both. I would love to do the technically part, but I would also loved to be in the field.



posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 12:00 PM
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Well the name CIA, Central Intelligence Agency at least in my opinion show that the agency is trying to catch terrorists or peoples who are against/threat to America... ABROAD, wich means that they are trying to catch all the "bad guys" The NSA, National Security Agency is more of an agency that is trying to securea America, And America only... So, do you want to catch the bad guys before hey are attacking America or After...

This crap=They are both good an useful...



posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 03:35 PM
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dan brown the guy that wrote the davinci code wrote a book called "digital fortress" and it takes place inside the NSA.......i found it to be very interesting.

i'm not placing the thing as the TRUTH or anything like that............but its all about code breaking........and he used some NSA sources to use for resource material.............

so you might want to read that..........if nothing else.......its a good read!


angie



posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 03:40 PM
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also my brother in law has worked for the CIA for 14yrs. recruited him out of brigham young. the whole family went through a background check. i think from the time they recruited him until he actually was hired on it was over 6months.

he's a satellite photo analyst.............or that's what he tells us anyway.

he has a masters in INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS and TRADE and speaks fluent JAPANESE. he's been stationed overseas with his family in the american embassy compounds.

anyway........he swears its a desk job..........but then he's supposed to say that!

angie



posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 03:58 PM
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he has a masters in INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS and TRADE and speaks fluent JAPANESE. he's been stationed overseas with his family in the american embassy compounds.

anyway........he swears its a desk job..........but then he's supposed to say that!


Sounds to me like he's a Japanese "Case Officer". Sat analysts would be in Langley...
His skills seem ideal for a Case Officer. It is kind of a desk job though, with the only real risk being in "first contact".

The Case Officer's job is to recruit and coordinate foreign citizens to spy on their nation (often bribes, criminal protection, etc. etc.). It's the foreign citizens who do the "James Bond" work. Whereas the Case Officer is more like "Felix" from the Bond flicks...


That concludes Intel101 for today...



posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 04:28 PM
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It's the foreign citizens who do the "James Bond" work. Whereas the Case Officer is more like "Felix" from the Bond flicks...

Not in all cases...
there are Americans who do such work too.




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