Saturday, August 31, 2013

Are Edward Snowden's NSA Leaks Damaging US Intel Operations?

Edward Snowden. Reuters

Leaked 'Black Budget': Mixed Views On Damage To US Intel Operations -- Christian Science Monitor

Some analysts, as well as the US government, say Edward Snowden's new leak, of the 'black budget' for US clandestine operations, reveals too much about US intelligence priorities. Others, who argue for more transparency, practically cheer.

The "black budget" for US clandestine operations – newly leaked by former US contractor Edward Snowden – portrays a sprawling global operation that is geared to detect and defeat terrorists, but is dominated by a data-collection program so massive that other priorities could easily be crowded out, analysts and critics said one day after the top-secret document was published.

Details from the 2013 National Intelligence Program budget, portions of which the Washington Post made available as of Thursday on its website, identify top US spending priorities as fighting terrorism, halting the spread of nuclear weapons, warning of critical events overseas, counterintelligence, and cyberespionage and cyberattack operations.

Some information in the 178-page summary document simply validates what was already thought to be true – such as the level of spending for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and National Security Agency (NSA). But the amount of detail, together with a big-picture overview of intelligence operations, provides a much fuller picture of a government activity that has expanded dramatically over the past decade.

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My Comment: What's my view .... many of us always had the belief that the NSA was conducting operations that violated our privacy and rights .... what Edward Snowden has done with his leaks is that he has (so far) only confirmed in detail that we were right. I do not what future leaks will be revealed .... and I do hope that it is something that will not compromise our national security .... but we do have a right to know .... especially since many of us now no longer have confidence in the politicians who have clearly failed in providing the necessary oversight over the NSA and other intelligence agencies.

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