What does a surveillance state look like? The scarcity of images is not surprising. A surveillance apparatus doesn’t really “look” like anything. The photographs below – which are being published for the first time – show three of the largest agencies in the U.S. intelligence community.
They are spying on us! Now it’s our turn, we have pictures of you!
NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY (NSA). With a budget request of $10.8 billion, the NSA is the second-largest agency in the U.S. intelligence community. It is headquartered in Fort Meade, Maryland.
NATIONAL RECONNAISSANCE OFFICE (NRO). The NRO is in charge of developing, deploying and operating secret reconnaissance satellites. With a budget request of $10.3 billion, it is the third-largest U.S. intelligence agency. It is headquartered in Chantilly, Virginia.
NATIONAL GEOSPATIAL-INTELLIGENCE AGENCY (NGA). The NGA is responsible for collecting, analyzing and distributing intelligence derived from maps and imagery. According to documents provided by Edward Snowden, the NGA’s budget request was $4.9 billion last year – more than double its funding a decade ago. It is headquartered in Springfield, Virginia.
The video is also pretty awesome!
About the photos and video
Revelations that U.S. intelligence agencies had been extracting personal information from people across the country were exposed by NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden last year. The one photo the NSA have provided of their headquarters in Fort Meade is thought to have been taken in the 1970s. Inspired by the ‘invisibility’ of the U.S. intelligence community, artist Trevor Paglen rented a helicopter and took photos of three of the most powerful intelligence sites in the country.