NSA developers get royalties

NSA's Domestic Technology Transfer Program

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"Breaking the mold"

Two National Security Agency employees have become the first to reap the monetary rewards of the spy organization's technical transfer program.

The employees created software code that Raytheon Co. licensed from the agency, using it to develop a commercial product. It was the first case in which a company made money with a commercial version of NSA-developed software.

Bill Black, NSA's deputy director, presented the two employees with royalty checks in a public ceremony Wednesday.

From the NSA software, Raytheon developed its SilentRunner security product, which audits and monitors complex networks in real time. Raytheon sold the product to NSA's Information Assurance Directorate, the Army's intelligence branch, and to financial and pharmaceutical companies, according to an NSA announcement. The NSA software developers are receiving 20 percent of the royalties and subsequent product sales.

Through its Domestic Technology Transfer Program, NSA can license its advanced mathematics, computing, communications, microelectronics and signals processing technology to qualified U.S. companies.

NSA, which uses cryptology to protect U.S. communications systems and gain intelligence data about foreign communications, created the program in response to the 1986 Federal Technology Transfer Act, which directed agencies with at least 500 employees to transfer a percentage of their research and development information to the private sector.


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