Feeds

Want to sit in Picard's chair while spying on THE WORLD? We can make it so – ex-NSA man

Tells magazine that NSA boss 'built replica Star Trek bridge'

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

National Security Agency director Keith Alexander apparently sold the concept of surveillance to members of Congress using an operations centre styled on the bridge of the starship Enterprise from much-loved sci-fi series Star Trek.

According to "a former administration official" who spoke to Foreign Policy magazine, General Alexander set up the centre in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, at the time he was running the Army's Intelligence and Security Command. The official told FP that the set had been put together professionally by a Hollywood set designer to resemble the bridge of the USS Enterprise, complete with a massive projection screen on the forward wall, computer stations and doors that slide open and closed while making a "whoosh" sound – just like the doors in the TV series.

The facility was known as the Information Dominance Center, he told the magazine.

Politicians and other VIPs apparently got to sit in the captain's chair at the centre of the room while Alexander demonstrated big data analytics tools on the big screen. "Everybody wanted to sit in the chair at least once to pretend he was Jean-Luc Picard," a retired officer in charge of VIP visits explained to US news outlet PBS.

The PBS story was based on the FP feature (sign-in required) outlining Alexander's rise to the top of the NSA, including how he got his hands on the raw caches of data collected by the spy agency.

The Guardian adds that the website of DBI Architects features purported photographs of the actual Star Trek bridge-like briefing room commissioned by Gen "Collect it All" Alexander.

The original file with the pictures is here (PDF) but was inaccessible at the time of writing due to the volume of requests – presumably from overexcited Trekkies as well as senior NSA staffers keen to try out their best Patrick Stewart impressions. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
JLaw, Kate Upton exposed in celeb nude pics hack
100 women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.