Did you know that the National Security Agency has over 3,000 workers at an intelligence gathering site in San Antonio? If you didn’t, it might be because the agency is famously tight-lipped about its activities, including in Texas.
But that’s starting to change. With the nation facing an increasing number of cyber threats, the National Security Agency is recruiting staff to keep up. This includes in San Antonio, where NSA Texas is coming out of the shadows.
Eric Killelea, who covers technology and cybersecurity for the San Antonio Express-News, said the agency has had a presence in San Antonio for over a decade at the old Sony plant on the west side of the city. The site includes a cryptology center and three other buildings, he said.
“The San Antonio site is one of four cryptology centers across the U.S.. And what they do at the center there, roughly, is conducting signals intelligence and cyber operations,” he said. “As you can imagine, they’re pretty close-lipped on that. So we don’t have all that much more information.”
Killelea said San Antonio, with its large military presence, is a logical location for NSA operations.
“City leaders are saying that the city has the largest number of cybersecurity employees in the U.S. outside of Washington, D.C.,” he said. “The NSA is telling us that it’s a geographic advantage to be here. And they’re looking to partner with federal agencies, the private sector, academics, and they’re sort of leveraging their presence in San Antonio to tap into that possible workforce.”
It is unclear how many workers the NSA wants to hire in Texas, but Killelea said he will continue to track the agency’s activities.
“San Antonio is trying to market itself or kind of brand itself as a cyber city, USA and trying to attract new companies and new businesses and pump up the workforce,” he said. “Here’s another agency that’s looking to hire. So more workers and more jobs.”