WASHINGTON, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- The secret budget for the intelligence community in the United States has gone up greatly since the terrorist attacks more than a decade ago and as a result of aggressive new efforts made to hack into foreign computer networks, the Washington Post reported Thursday citing new documents revealed by former defense contractor Edward Snowden.
Citing findings in the classified documents obtained from Snowden, the newspaper said the U.S. spy agencies have built "an intelligence-gathering colossus" since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but remained unable to provide critical information to the president on a range of national security threats.
The "black budget" for the fiscal year 2013, for instance, totaled 52.6 billion U.S. dollars, about twice the estimated size of the 2001 budget and 25 percent above that of 2006.
According to a 178-page budget summary for the National Intelligence Program, the U.S. intelligence community consists of 16 spy agencies with 107,035 employees.
Spending by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has grown to 14.7 billion dollars in requested funding for the year of 2013, more than any other spy agency and nearly 50 percent above that of the National Security Agency (NSA), which has been under fire at home and abroad for secret spying programs revealed by Snowden since June.
In a response to inquiries from the Washington Post, U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper admitted the U.S. has made "a considerable investment in the Intelligence Community" since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The documents also disclosed that both the CIA and NSA have launched new "offensive cyber operations" to hack into foreign computer networks to steal information or sabotage enemy systems. Also, the NSA has planned to investigate at least 4,000 possible insider threats in 2013, and the U.S. spy agencies have worried long before Snowden's leaks about "anomalous behavior" by personnel with access to highly classified material.
U.S. spied on UN: German weekly
BERLIN, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) bugged the video conferencing system at the UN headquarters in New York and cracked its encryption, German weekly Der Spiegel reported Sunday.
The tapping scheme succeeded in the summer of 2012, the magazine said, citing secret documents disclosed by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. Full story
Obama meets lawmakers over spying programs
WASHINGTON, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama met with a bipartisan group of lawmakers on Thursday to discuss leaked spying programs, hours after Russia granted whistle-blower Edward Snowden one-year asylum.
According to a readout released by the White House, the meeting was "constructive" and Obama vowed to continue to work closely with Congress on these matters in the weeks and months ahead. Full story
Thousands of Germans protest against U.S. spying
BERLIN, July 27 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of people braved the heatwave on Saturday and took to the streets across Germany to protest against the U.S. internet surveillance in the country.
The protestors also voiced support for fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden who revealed that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) was monitoring phone calls and Internet data connections in Germany as well as spying on the headquarters of the European Union. Full story