Dispute over report about secret NSA budget


Stephen Braun
The Seattle Times
August 30, 2013

The National Security Agency on Thursday disputed a published report that secret intelligence budget files provided by agency leaker Edward Snowden show that the surveillance agency warned in 2012 that it planned to investigate up to 4,000 cases of possible internal security breaches.

The Washington Post, citing documents it said were provided by Snowden, said the NSA’s concerns about insider threats were aimed at “anomalous behavior” of agency employees with access to top secret data. The account cited NSA concerns about “trusted insiders who seek to exploit their authorized access to sensitive information to harm U.S. interests.”

The NSA concerns were outlined in top-secret documents provided to the Senate and House intelligence committees in February 2012, well before Snowden emerged this summer as the sole source of massive new disclosures about the agency’s surveillance operations. The Post released only 17 pages of the entire 178-page budget document, along with additional charts and graphs, citing conversations with Obama administration officials who voiced alarms about disclosures that could compromise intelligence sources and methods.

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