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Old 11-27-2007
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"I have no idea why the NGA make it so difficult"
Very simple, really. I had a discussion with someone there some years ago and asked why they were doing something in a particularly cumbersome way. I was told "that's because we're a government agency and we are here to serve the military and other agencies not civilians" and the way it was said made it clear that the huge civilian presence (and burden) was something they had a great distaste for.
If NGA (which really should be called NGSIA or NGIA, but no, they have to compete with the other 3-letter agencies) had their way, they'd cut off access to everyone who wasn't coming from a .mil or .gov address. There's a lot of that mindset in too many agencies, who forget the damned hoi-poloi pay the bills.
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