Archive for September, 2014

What’s next, a gift shop? The National Security Agency has a side business licensing its technology

Dollar sign on keyboard with magnifying glass


30 September 2014 – We were at the “Defense Labs Tech Transfer” trade show in Maryland last week and stumbled across a company called TechLink, which is a US Department of Defense (DoD) Partnership Intermediary. These partnership entities are all done via government statute (check out 15 USC 3715). TechLink is based at Montana State University. The company brokers licensing agreements between DoD labs and US industry for manufacture and use of DoD inventions. These inventions involve virtually all technology fields, including medicine, software, electronics, communications, advanced materials, and energy-related technologies. There are between 100 and 150 research labs that participate under the DoD’s umbrella.

And lo and behold … the National Security Agency (NSA) is in the program (the DoD includes the NSA under its umbrella) and has been making money on the side by licensing its technology to private businesses for more than two decades. It’s called the Technology Transfer Program, under which the NSA declassifies some of its technologies that it developed for previous operations, patents them, and, if they’re swayed by an American … Read more