Details Revealed On Old NSA Intelligence Database: ANCHORY

from the from-way-back-when dept

You may remember that, back in June, we pointed out that if you plugged in a few of the "code names" for various NSA programs (as revealed by Ed Snowden's leaks), you could find a few resumes of NSA employees, listing out other such code names. Jason Gulledge apparently saw that post, and used the list of code names that we posted to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on NSA documents concerning those programs. Amazingly, they actually sent back some info -- though, just about the very first program, ANCHORY, and the info sent is from 1993 (and some from 2000), describing the text search system that the government has to search through various intelligence reports. From 1993, long before "search engines" were a thing:
ANCHORY is a system that provides timely retrieval of textual data by keyword and other relevant information on a 24-hour per day, 7 day per week basis. [REDACTED] is the ANCHORY hardware platform and BRS/Search, a commercial software product, is the engine behind ANCHORY text retrieval and database management functions.

[....] ANCHORY contains three years of full text reports written by NSA, CIA, DIA, State and Foreign Broadcast Information System, as well as Reuters News Service, Cryptologic Intelligence Reports and precis of hard copy reports.
The documents are interesting, mainly for the historical interest aspect. Though, at the same time, it does suggest that the NSA is (once again) completely full of crap when it claims that it doesn't have the technology to search its own emails. If it had text search twenty years ago for all reports, it has the capability to do email search today (not that this is a surprise).

Unfortunately, the FOIA person at the NSA rejected Gulledge's request to waive the FOIA fees, which it will do for media operations when there is a strong public interest basis for the request. Muckrock, the FOIA service Gulledge is using (and which, of course, we've used many times as well) is now appealing that decision. However, because of that, the NSA has not looked into whether it can send the documents on any of the other code named programs listed.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jul 2013 @ 7:10pm

    It is a worrying trend that PRISM has so far-reaching cooperation with private actors. This historic document suggest entanglement between public and private operations is going back decades. The problem here is of course industrial espionage: If NSA demands VIP-access it can easily give non-financial compensation. In this case the question is "what does Reuters want" and can NSA provide it? I would think that there is always a good deal in supplying the right information about enemies and friends and the rest is of course state secrets...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    out_of_the_blue, 26 Jul 2013 @ 7:35pm

    WOW! We're just a few FOIAs away from shutting down NSA!

    I got nothin' appropriate for the outline of a 20 year old database except to trot out my latest tagline:

    When you think surveillance, think Google!

    And to announce the revival of classics (you think I'd delete this comedy gold?):

    Mere engineers designed the Internet: Mike "Streisand Effect" Masnick fulfilled its promise!
    When the history of teh internets is written -- as it already is on Wikipedia by either Mike "Streisand Effect" Masnick or a minion -- then HIS name will be in blue!

    And that may have to hold ya till Monday. Sheesh, what a dull week here!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    McCrea (profile), 26 Jul 2013 @ 7:36pm

    Something smells fishy...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    TruthandFreedom, 27 Jul 2013 @ 8:03am

    Gold Lining for those who vote not to pass Amash Legislation

    Politicians who voted not to pass the Amash legislation to defund NSA program for spying on Americans were given double the money of those who voted for it by the Defense Industry! Proof that those politicians were paid by a corrupt system to strip away American Citizens Fourth Amendment rights! These politicians chose money over the people they were suppose to represent! rmal.gif al.gif

    etc..... A mere coincidence? Vote these Communists out of office and take back your constitutional rights!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      TruthandFreedom, 27 Jul 2013 @ 8:14am

      Re: Gold Lining for those who vote not to pass Amash Legislation

      It seems the other links didn't work. The above http address will show you the truth about those voting to violate your fourth amendment rights! It's nice to know which politicians believe are rights can be taken away as long as they are paid enough money!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2013 @ 2:49pm

      Re: Gold Lining for those who vote not to pass Amash Legislation

      The basis of a free economy is the ability to buy things. Since politicians are getting bought here, I highly doubt they want away with the capitalistic system, thus the throwback to Mccarthyism is a bit out of place!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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