NSA pouring billions into cryptography, cracking
The U.S. government is pouring almost $11 billion per year into a massive program to develop novel, groundbreaking methods to defeat traditional encryption, according to a report published by The Washington Post.
This much was outlined in a new 17-page document that was handed over to The Post by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. The budget is also used to fund a field of electronic spying that is referred to as SIGINT, or signals intelligence, as well as a "Consolidated Cryptologic Program" that employs some 35,000 people.
In the summary written by James Clapper, director of national intelligence, he noted: "We are bolstering our support for clandestine SIGINT capabilities to collect against high priority targets, including foreign leadership targets." Clapper also made mention of the substantial investments being made to defeat traditional encryption as well as to "exploit Internet traffic."
The Fierce Take: While it is unlikely that any governments are even close to the U.S. government's level of spending on communications security, the sheer amount of funds deployed on this front makes its importance crystal clear. As such, enterprises that don't deploy basic encrypted communications such as VPN technology are making themselves easy prey to foreign state actors or even business rivals.