Leaked report reveals $52.6 billion dollar budget for the National Intelligence Program

The CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.  

Last week, it was revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) could view 75% of US internet traffic. While this startling statistic may be a cause for concern, it appears that even a bigger storm could be brewing.

A 178-page report, leaked by Edward Snowden, revealed the National Intelligence Program (NIP) received approximately $52.6 billion in 2013.

While the American government has released its annual spending on intelligence since 2007, the large scope of the “black budget” is astounding as it goes into great depth about where the money is used. The report also outlines the successes, failures and objectives of the combined 16 spy agencies, including the allocation of the budget, re-prioritisation of failed programs, funding management and the aim to “enhance counterintelligence”.

To put into perspective of the scale of the budget, it is higher than the GDP of more than 100 nations according to the International Monetary Fund. It is also noted that the National Security Agency received around half of that of the National Intelligence Program.

39% of the budget has gone towards strategic intelligence against nations such as Pakistan, China and North Korea.

James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, says it is imperative that an emphasis should be placed on security and intelligence after 9/11.

"The United States has made a considerable investment in the Intelligence Community since the terror attacks of 9/11, a time which includes wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Arab Spring, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction technology, and asymmetric threats in such areas as cyber warfare". 

Clapper also insists that the documents should be "classified" for security reasons, as it could "provide insight for foreign intelligence services to discern our top national priorities, capabilities and sources and methods."

According to a summary devised by the Washington Post, notable revelations in the budget summary are:

  • Spending by the CIA has surged past that of every other spy agency, with $US14.7 billion ($A16.5 billion) in requested funding for 2013. The figure vastly exceeds outside estimates and is nearly 50 per cent above that of the National Security Agency (NSA), which conducts eavesdropping operations and has long been considered the behemoth of the community.
  • The CIA and 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 NSA planned to investigate at least 4000 possible insider threats in 2013, cases in which the agency suspected sensitive information may have been compromised by one of its own. The budget documents show that the US intelligence community has sought to strengthen its ability to detect what it calls "anomalous behaviour" by personnel with access to highly classified material.
  • US intelligence officials take an active interest in foes as well as friends. Pakistan is described in detail as an "intractable target" and counter-intelligence operations "are strategically focused against [the] priority targets of China, Russia, Iran, Cuba and Israel".
  • In words, deeds and dollars, intelligence agencies remain fixed on terrorism as the gravest threat to US national security, which is listed first among five "mission objectives". Counterterrorism programs employ one in four members of the intelligence workforce and account for one-third of all spending.
  • The governments of Iran, China and Russia are difficult to penetrate, but North Korea's may be the most opaque. There are five "critical" gaps in US intelligence about Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs, and analysts know virtually nothing about the intentions of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

After talks with worried officials about the release of the top secret document, the Washington Post has only decided to reveal 17 pages, which can be viewed here.

Source: Washington Post | Image: AFP

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33 Comments

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One other thing.. is I believe they do not need raw data dumps and subsequent archiving, as they are now more than capable(via increasing technology) of being able to take what they want from the raw stream of data passing through their equipment every second. That equipment is supposedly sitting inside some fairly large Telco's exchanges? Would it not be?

spUrr said,
One other thing.. is I believe they do not need raw data dumps and subsequent archiving, as they are now more than capable(via increasing technology) of being able to take what they want from the raw stream of data passing through their equipment every second. That equipment is supposedly sitting inside some fairly large Telco's exchanges? Would it not be?

To have 'human' review of even digitally aggregated data, there is too much information to be retained. For example a terrorist is flagged on a phone call and then all records of additional calls and interactions with that terrorist would no longer be available as it would predate the 'flag'. This is why the 'transactional' information is archived, so that if a number gets flagged, it can be traced back to find additional contact points and leads.

And this is a ton of data that is only just dealing with the call logging logistics and not the actual conversations or data being retained.

Just the transactional information generated by all the people of the world on a daily basis is massive. It always has been, which is why Echelon had access to top secret classified computing technologies back in the 1960s/70s/80s/90s.

Mobius Enigma said,

To have 'human' review of even digitally aggregated data, there is too much information to be retained. For example a terrorist is flagged on a phone call and then all records of additional calls and interactions with that terrorist would no longer be available as it would predate the 'flag'. This is why the 'transactional' information is archived, so that if a number gets flagged, it can be traced back to find additional contact points and leads.

And this is a ton of data that is only just dealing with the call logging logistics and not the actual conversations or data being retained.

Just the transactional information generated by all the people of the world on a daily basis is massive. It always has been, which is why Echelon had access to top secret classified computing technologies back in the 1960s/70s/80s/90s.

I 100% agree with your post!

I 99.999% dislike intensely the way current American politics are being handled by recent administrations(Because I'm alive at present)!

'Never been an increase of opium production in Afghanistan since 2002 '
C'mon investigate that statement people!

What I find amazing is that all this information has been available for over 8 years.

Anyone in the security/technology community that was paying attention to the ATT fiber dumps in 2002 and the escalation of the warrantless wiretaps that went to the supreme court should already know all this information as the data mining plans of the NSA were discussed publically with the need to archive data and create focused targets to stop the overloading of information the raw dumps were producing.

During that timeframe many aspects of the complete PRISM project and the expansion of NSA installations was discussed and disclosed with even specifics about the storage details of the Utah and other NSA installations.

This many years later, and everyone is acting like it is the 'final' details released by Snowden are somehow a revelation. The only things that Snowden has provided is a few specific details that we already had estimated information that wasn't far off from the final project information.

Our team was talking about this stuff around the water cooler in 2004/2005 and again in 2007/2008 as the final appropriations for the installations were approved by the president (Bush).

Why was nobody else paying attention and now finds all this information new? Why weren't people complaining about the budget allocation to these projects when they were first entering discussions back in 2002/2003?

Well in the coming months I'm sure we'll all be able to work out if world leaders were paying attention!

They also could've been straight up with us in the first place if they felt the same as you. I can see where this is all headed...Anyone else?

spUrr said,
Well in the coming months I'm sure we'll all be able to work out if world leaders were paying attention!

They also could've been straight up with us in the first place if they felt the same as you. I can see where this is all headed...Anyone else?

It was talked about once the details of the ATT fiber dumps came to light. Bush was less than upfront about the projects, but once they were exposed, the DC conversations and PRISM expansions were reported on and talked about by both the Bush administration and members of Congress.

Everyone is angry at Obama, but his only involvement is not cutting the funding or the projects, which is something he technically couldn't do, as it is the house's responsibility to fund or defund programs and the NSA oversight extended before and after his election.


As for where this is headed... Realizing this stuff was going on over 200 years ago, I am probably a bit more optimistic than most. It is the nature of the history of the USA and as long as both sides of the political spectrum do or do not gain access to information, it shouldn't shift the political landscape.

I am personally more concerned with private companies like Google that have more information and use it for financial gains. (Not just advertising but controlling markets, trend manipulation, etc.)


Mobius Enigma said,

I am personally more concerned with private companies like Google that have more information and use it for financial gains. (Not just advertising but controlling markets, trend manipulation, etc.)

Hasn't anyone with the biggest sack of cash always been able to dominate television for instance, with the most/prettiest ads? Even bills such as the dreaded S.O.P.A, or the ability by governments to directly censor, could potentially have a much higher impact on trending, or 'emerging markets', whatever they may be.

Edited by Stuart Middlemiss, Sep 1 2013, 3:32pm :

spUrr said,
Can Obama take it to the house to have it de-funded, repealed?

The House can stop funding and amend the laws to stop it. When anyone tries to paint this as one political party or person being responsible it is being intellectually dishonest.

Agencies like the NSA operate under directives that predate the current president, this is why there are extended appointment periods for security related positions.

I'm sure the conservative apologists will be here soon enough justifying all the money because it's to protect against the T word. And why should poor (aka anyone not ultra rich like all of congress) be given any help? Isn't that anti-American?!

This is so the can monitor "chatter", then assist the chatters to start a phoney war without any clear evidence to start that war, and push the price of oil up.....all of which is currently happening.

how many % was allocated to crack encrypted communications, and push legal stuff to ban the usages of such encryption technique ?

They have some rather advanced technology. The encryptions that you think of as secure, NSA has a transdimensional decryption array. This allows them to intercept the communication on a different time continuum and read its contents before the communication even takes place.

I'm not surprised. Disappointed for sure though. This, by the way, is what the US government (my government) calls transparent.

Well thats great, I know what should be cut out of the budget, lets start with the whole NSA backdoor system budget, minus what it takes to dismantle it of course.

Wow, just cutting back on these "black" operations would put the US debt into more control rather than cutting from government programs that help the public.

its MORE money than it takes to build the whole WTC site, not only WTC 1

Pathetic how my tax dollars going to morons. I pay to spy on me

and yet they are cutting budget on wildfire fighting and prevention.
Country going down in a toilet at rocket speed.

Yeah it is pretty sad that congress in public is having hissy fits and cutting the budget on anything that will help the middle class yet behind closed doors our money goes to fund something like this without our knowledge. Take some of that money and invenst it back into the people.