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  • Fred Cohen
    Intelligence Committee Passes Bill The Associated Press, 9/7/2001
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 7, 2001
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      Intelligence Committee Passes Bill

      The Associated Press, 9/7/2001
      <a href="http://www.worldnews.com/?action=display&article=9132170&template=worldnews/search.txt&index=recent">http://www.worldnews.com/?action=display&article=9132170&template=worldnews/search.txt&index=recent</a>

      Email this story to a friend Print this story WASHINGTON (AP) -
      Code-breakers and spy masters would receive more money under an
      intelligence bill approved Thursday by the Senate Intelligence
      Committee.
      The intelligence budget finances the CIA, National Security Agency and
      other intelligence agencies and is secret, although it is widely
      estimated at more than $30 billion.
      Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., called the
      money in the bill ``the first installment of a multiyear effort to
      correct serious deficiencies that have developed over the past decade in
      the intelligence community.''
      The intelligence authorization bill, which establishes the agencies'
      operating budgets for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, did not disclose
      amounts of increase over the fiscal 2001 spending.
      The National Security Agency, which already receives the largest share
      of intelligence dollars, will receive more for its ``revitalization,''
      the committee said in a statement.
      The NSA gathers and analyzes information from broadcasts, computers and
      other electronic means of communication. It has fallen behind the
      commercial sector in computer technology, analysts say. The agency
      suffered a massive computer failure in January 2000 that paralyzed its
      ability to analyze data for several days.
      Among other challenges facing the NSA is to figure out how to break
      through rapidly spreading encryption technologies, tap communications
      traveling through fiber-optic lines and find linguists to translate
      less-common languages, said James Bamford. He is the author of ``Body of
      Secrets,'' a book detailing the workings of the supersecret agency.
      ``In the past it was fairly easy; you get all these Russian linguists,''
      he said. ``Russia made up 80 percent of NSA's work. Today it's about 15
      percent. NSA's problem is you never know where a crisis is going to
      happen.''
      The authorization bill also provides increases for ``human
      intelligence'' - traditional spying - which probably will translate into
      more CIA case officers overseas, said a senior intelligence official,
      speaking on the condition of anonymity.
      With the United States no longer facing a single adversary in the Soviet
      Union, case officers must be able to find sources in terrorist groups,
      drug traffickers and arms dealers as well as undercover agents in
      nations that oppose U.S. interests, the official said.
      The bill also emphasizes correcting the imbalance between the reams of
      data that U.S. intelligence agencies collect but don't have the
      resources to analyze, the committee statement says.
      In addition, the bill sets up a Justice Department-led task force that
      will have until May 1 to prepare a report on leaks to the press of
      classified information, congressional officials said.
      Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., ranking minority member of the committee,
      pushed for a law criminalizing all leaks of classified information, but
      the Bush administration told him this week it would not support the
      idea.
      Instead, Attorney General John Ashcroft proposed the interagency group
      to study whether leaks have damaged national security. Depending on its
      findings, any changes to secrecy laws would come after the report was
      presented to Congress.
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