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Maryland, NSA Join Forces

June 28, 2004

A new agreement between the State of Maryland and the National Security Agency (NSA) is expected to lead to new technologies for both. The two formalized a partnership earlier this month, signing a memorandum of understanding at the Maryland State House.

The partnership joins NSA with Maryland's Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED). Present for the signing were Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich, DBED Secretary Aris Melissaratos, and Michael Hayden and Dr. Eric Haseltine of NSA.

Hayden, who doubles as director of NSA and as a lieutenant general for the U.S. Air Force, said the agreement will enhance the agency's "transformation efforts to provide quality intelligence to the national leadership while promoting economic prosperity in Maryland."

NSA's research division is responsible for developing new technologies for information purposes and signaling intelligence missions. Interacting with Maryland industry concerning new trends, theories, techniques and problems in research would further industry's understanding of the NSA's research needs.

The defense industry in Maryland is estimated at $15 billion, Baltimore's Daily Record reported last week in conjunction with a related story involving The Johns Hopkins University. Enrollment in the university's new homeland security certificate program and biodefense concentration will be open to graduate students beginning this fall, the Daily Record states. Thousands of jobs are anticipated over the next couple of years, with NSA alone expecting 1,500 new hires for each of the next five years.

A story in the Baltimore Sun recently stated NSA intends "to spend at least several million dollars in the short term to invest in and buy from local startups that develop high technology useful to its code-making, code-breaking and eavesdropping mission."

Press statements concerning the DBED and NSA partnership are available at each agency's website, respectively, at www.choosemaryland.org and www.nsa.gov.