Author Topic: Snowden reveals the US intelligence ‘black budget’  (Read 603 times)

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Offline happyg

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Snowden reveals the US intelligence ‘black budget’
« on: August 29, 2013, 07:44:13 PM »

A summary of the 2013 classified budget of the U.S. intelligence community was revealed on Thursday through a Washington Post report on documents obtained from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

The documents that The Washington Post chose to publish after consulting with U.S. intelligence officials reveal, for the first time to the American public and the enemies and allies of the United States, the spending priorities within the U.S. intelligence community.

The budget’s secrecy from the broader public serves a pragmatic security function of concealing the covert and clandestine intelligence activities of the U.S. government from those who wish to harm Americans.

Critics of the budget’s secrecy, however, have argued that the public should be able to scrutinize the community’s spending.

According to the documents, U.S. taxpayers spent $52 billion on the government’s 16 intelligence agencies during fiscal year 2013.

The largest amount of money was requested by the CIA, which commanded 28 percent, or $14.7 billion, of the budget. The agency’s budget has grown approximately 56 percent since 2004.

As publicly alluded to by Snowden, the documents also show that the CIA and the NSA have “launched aggressive new efforts to hack into foreign computer networks to steal information or sabotage enemy systems, embracing what the budget refers to as ‘offensive cyber operations,’” the Post reports.

Snowden, Russian news outlet Kommersant reported Monday, lived at the Russian consulate for several days during his time in Hong Kong.
 http://dailycaller.com/2013/08/29/snowden-revealed-the-us-intel-black-budget/

Offline Bigun

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Re: Snowden reveals the US intelligence ‘black budget’
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2013, 07:55:54 PM »
I still have the same question -  which BTW remains unasked by ANY so called reporter - and the question is: How in the HELL did a mid level CONTRACTOR in NSA ever manage to get his hands on the kind of information we now know he did? That would not have been possible in my day I'll assure you!

« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 08:40:32 PM by Bigun »

Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Snowden reveals the US intelligence ‘black budget’
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2013, 08:41:56 PM »
I still have the same question -  which BTW remains unasked by ANY so called reporter - and the question is: How in the HELL did a mid level CONTRACTOR in NSA ever manage to get his hands on the kid of information we now know he did? That would not have been possible in my day I'll assure you!

I read an article last weekend that said these low level people at NSA have more info at their fingertips than upper management... which has to ASK for specific info.

BTW this budget thingy isn't a huge surprise to me.. read The Puzzle Palace - it is about the formation of the NSA.. I read it because my uncle is covered in the book, but the parts that fascinated me was how it was formed as an off book out of sight, President is the only in the know, agency and remained so with everything off the books for quite a long time... sort of the Area 51 of intrigue.
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Offline Oceander

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Re: Snowden reveals the US intelligence ‘black budget’
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2013, 09:02:04 PM »
I still have the same question -  which BTW remains unasked by ANY so called reporter - and the question is: How in the HELL did a mid level CONTRACTOR in NSA ever manage to get his hands on the kind of information we now know he did? That would not have been possible in my day I'll assure you!



Basically because he had administrator level access to the underlying databases; he also had security clearance for so-called "Sensitive Compartmented Information," which wouldn't have necessarily given him direct access to the various databases, but would have made it easier for him to get access.  He also had extensive training in hacking, so it wouldn't have been too difficult for him to access information that he really wasn't supposed to be accessing.

Offline Atomic Cow

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Re: Snowden reveals the US intelligence ‘black budget’
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2013, 09:05:19 PM »
It's actually fairly easy to get a good estimate on the "black budgets" just by going over the public budgets which are published every year.  People have been doing it for the Air Force black projects for decades.  This is how someone found out about the project called "Aurora," which many believe was the replacement for the SR-71.
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Offline Oceander

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Re: Snowden reveals the US intelligence ‘black budget’
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2013, 09:15:20 PM »
It's actually fairly easy to get a good estimate on the "black budgets" just by going over the public budgets which are published every year.  People have been doing it for the Air Force black projects for decades.  This is how someone found out about the project called "Aurora," which many believe was the replacement for the SR-71.

Indeed.  It's amazing what some people can ferret out from what look like very opaque documents.


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