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Reuters U.S. intelligence agencies got more money for technology

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  • Snezana Lazovic
    http://sg.news.yahoo.com/010811/3/1b64j.html Saturday August 11, 9:04 AM U.S. intelligence agencies got more money for technology By Tabassum Zakaria
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 11, 2001
      http://sg.news.yahoo.com/010811/3/1b64j.html

      Saturday August 11, 9:04 AM

      U.S. intelligence agencies got more money for technology

      By Tabassum Zakaria

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S.
      intelligence agencies were given more
      money during the 1999-2000 Congress to improve their
      technological standing, which has lagged behind the rapid
      advances being made on that front, a congressional report said
      on Friday.

      A report by the Senate Intelligence Committee on its activities
      during the last Congress provided some general hints about areas
      in which funding was beefed up. The intelligence budget is
      classified, but experts estimate that it has run about $30 billion a
      year recently.

      Increased funds went to areas that needed technological
      improvements, and one of the prime candidates for that was the
      National Security Agency.

      "Rebuilding the NSA is the committee's top priority," the report
      said.

      The NSA eavesdrops on communications around the world,
      using spy satellites, listening posts and other methods. Concerns
      have been raised in recent years that the agency is in danger of
      going "deaf" unless it revamps its technology to get around
      sophisticated encryption and hard-to-tap fibre optics.

      The committee "concluded that the crisis demanded immediate
      attention and warranted shifting resources in order to stave off a
      steady and inevitable degradation of the NSA's unique and
      invaluable capabilities," the report said.

      The committee was also closely monitoring efforts by the CIA's
      Directorate of Operations to make better use of technological
      innovations after a review in 1998 concluded that the spy
      agency's clandestine unit was lagging in integrating technical
      know-how to become more "technology-savvy."

      DENIAL AND DECEPTION

      The committee said it had become "deeply concerned" about an
      increase in "foreign denial and deception efforts" directed against
      U.S. intelligence efforts.

      "Denial and deception" refers to efforts by a foreign country or
      group that has become aware of U.S. methods of collecting
      intelligence to take action to conceal or mislead in areas such as
      military deployments, biological, nuclear or chemical weapons
      development, and political intentions.

      Intelligence experts have attributed the failure of U.S. intelligence
      to detect India's nuclear test partly to Indian action to avoid
      detection.

      "The committee increased funding for activities to counter denial
      and deception," the report said.

      The committee saw measurement and signature intelligence --
      which includes methods to detect such telltale signs as nuclear
      radiation, seismic indicators and magnetic emissions -- as crucial
      in the future.

      A review conducted in 1999 for the committee found that
      measurement and signature intelligence could potentially become
      the "most valuable source of technical intelligence in the 21st
      century," the report said.

      The committee said it had allocated "a significant amount of
      additional funds over the last two years to bolster MASINT
      capability."

      The report said a committee audit had examined a covert action
      program, including its operations, financial obligations and
      expenses, and future plans. "The audit found a well-managed
      program," the report said, without giving details about the target.
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