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Inside the Black Budget: 5 Things NSA May Be Working On

Inside the Black Budget: 5 Things NSA May Be Working On

The latest leaked governmental document provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden is the so-called "black budget" for the U.S. intelligence community's expenditures. The $52.6 billion budget contains so much sensitive information that the Washington Post, which broke the story, decided not to publish it in its entirety.

The Post's breakdown of the information does tell us, however, that the NSA received $10.3 billion for the 2013 fiscal year.

Of that, 429.1 million goes into research and technology. What are they researching? A summary of the budget penned by James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, also published by the Post, contains plenty of interesting, if vague, insights into the U.S. intelligence community (which comprises 16 agencies, including the NSA, the CIA and the FBI).

For example, the document, entitled "Congressional Budget Justification," states that "we are investing in groundbreaking cryptanalytic capabilities to defeat adversarial cryptography and exploit internet traffic."

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That could mean better decryption techniques, which is significant because strong encryption is generally considered the best (and possibly only) way to keep your data safe from prying eyes.

But cryptanalysis means a lot more than just decryption. Read on for five good guesses as to what the NSA's "cryptanalytic capabilities" research is all about.

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    The_Trutherizer , September 5, 2013 12:55 AM
    meh... the never-ending race. Sad that it is still necessary in this day and age.

    I do question the RSA /DH cracking initiative. Crack that and given a leak they expose themselves as well. Unless they can develop the quantum cryptography before cracking the old standards then it will do them no good. And then again. One defector and the crack will be leaked and the world go to pot if a new standard is not put in place. Which they will then have to crack, which will then need to be replaced, etc... etc...

    Make that a hamsterball race. But then in the end. We only catch up to US intelligence a decade or so later usually. So they probably have cracked RSA already and have something better than Quantum encryption.
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    DREGstudios , September 5, 2013 12:40 PM
    The dystopian fantasies of yesteryear are now a reality. We’ve allowed the coming of an age where the civil liberties our forefathers fought so hard for are being eroded by the day. Freedom of Press, Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Assembly are mere ghostly images of their original intent. We’ve woken up to an Orwellian Society of Fear where anyone is at the mercy of being labeled a terrorist for standing up for rights we took for granted just over a decade ago. Read about how we’re waging war against ourselves at
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