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Trailblazer Project ramped up in 2002 and was worked on by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Boeing, Computer Sciences Corporation, IBM, and Litton Industries.
The results of the investigation led to improvements and its redesignation as the National Security Agency.
(Some incoming traffic was also directed instead to Britain's GCHQ for the time being.) Director Michael Hayden called the outage a "wake-up call" for the need to invest in the agency's infrastructure.
In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, the NSA created new IT systems to deal with the flood of information from new technologies like the Internet and cellphones.
Originating as a unit to decipher coded communications in World War II, it was officially formed as the NSA by President Harry S. SCS collection tactics allegedly encompass "close surveillance, burglary, wiretapping, [and] breaking and entering".
The NSA, alongside the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), maintains a physical presence in many countries across the globe; the CIA/NSA joint Special Collection Service (a highly classified intelligence team) inserts eavesdropping devices in high value targets (such as Presidential palaces or embassies).