Cryptography is a very important security tool in the modern-day digital world. In fact, it is the bedrock of secure communications today. Not surprisingly, leaked budget details now suggest that the U.S. intelligence community spends 1/5th of its budget on ‘groundbreaking’ cryptanalysis.
Leaks are fast becoming a norm in the post-Snowden world, where the role of the intelligence agencies is still highly questionable for most analysts. Washington Post has now published a top-secret document titled ‘FY 2013 Congressional Budget Justification’ which comprises of 178 pages.
The report details that of the total of $52.6 billion annnual budget given to the U.S. intelligence agencies, nearly 1/5th is spent on different programs and projects related to cryptography. The primary focus of these programs and projects is to somehow decrypt the latest, most advanced cryptography methods, so that any and all forms of communications could be intercepted with ease.
The report quotes U.S. Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, as having stated, “We are bolstering our support for clandestine SIGINT capabilities to collect against high priority targets, including foreign leadership targets. Also, we are investing in groundbreaking cryptanalytic capabilities to defeat adversarial cryptography and exploit internet traffic.”
Once you add the Snowden leaks to this puzzle, you begin to discern the whole picture. Mass-surveillance programs are used by intelligence agencies to gather information on millions of users. Most of this information is acquired by pressurizing the tech companies whereas in other companies, data is gathered anyway and then decrypted. With such a huge budget allocated to cryptanalysis, it is no wonder that NSA has been able to intercept even the encrypted information from the U.N.
Source: Washington Post
Courtesy: PC World