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The National Security Agency (NSA) is a national-level intelligence agency of the United States Department of Defense, under the authority of the Director of National Intelligence. Unlike the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), both of which specialize primarily in foreign human espionage, the NSA does not publicly conduct human-source intelligence gathering.
Jointly funded by the Army and the State Department, the Cipher Bureau was disguised as a New York City commercial code company; it actually produced and sold such codes for business use.
In the 1960s, the NSA played a key role in expanding U. commitment to the Vietnam War by providing evidence of a North Vietnamese attack on the American destroyer USS Maddox during the Gulf of Tonkin incident.
A secret operation, code-named "MINARET", was set up by the NSA to monitor the phone communications of Senators Frank Church and Howard Baker, as well as major civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King, Jr., and prominent U. journalists and athletes who criticized the Vietnam War. The NESTOR family of compatible secure voice systems it developed was widely deployed during the Vietnam War, with about 30,000 NESTOR sets produced. revealed that the NSA, in collaboration with Britain's SIGINT intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), had routinely intercepted the international communications of prominent anti-Vietnam war leaders such as Jane Fonda and Dr. In 1986, the NSA intercepted the communications of the Libyan government during the immediate aftermath of the Berlin discotheque bombing.
Incoming traffic was successfully stored on agency servers, but it could not be directed and processed.
The agency carried out emergency repairs at a cost of million to get the system running again.
NSA's infrastructure deteriorated in the 1990s as defense budget cuts resulted in maintenance deferrals.
On January 24, 2000, NSA headquarters suffered a total network outage for three days caused by an overloaded network.
The Black Chamber successfully persuaded Western Union, the largest U. telegram company at the time, as well as several other communications companies to illegally give the Black Chamber access to cable traffic of foreign embassies and consulates.
Soon, these companies publicly discontinued their collaboration. Stimson, who defended his decision by stating, "Gentlemen do not read each other's mail".
Trailblazer Project ramped up in 2002 and was worked on by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Boeing, Computer Sciences Corporation, IBM, and Litton Industries.
Some NSA whistleblowers complained internally about major problems surrounding Trailblazer. It was developed in small, inexpensive "test" pieces, rather than one grand plan like Trailblazer.
(Some incoming traffic was also directed instead to Britain's GCHQ for the time being.) Director Michael Hayden called the outage a "wake-up call" for the need to invest in the agency's infrastructure.