The massive extent of the NSA's spying, both foreign and domestic, was revealed to the public in a series of detailed disclosures of internal NSA documents beginning in June 2013.
Most of the disclosures were leaked by former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden.
In 2013, the NSA had many of its secret surveillance programs revealed to the public by Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor.
According to the leaked documents, the NSA intercepts and stores the communications of over a billion people worldwide, including United States citizens.
Originating as a unit to decipher coded communications in World War II, it was officially formed as the NSA by President Harry S. SCS collection tactics allegedly encompass "close surveillance, burglary, wiretapping, [and] breaking and entering".
The NSA, alongside CIA, maintains a physical presence in many countries across the globe; the CIA/NSA joint Special Collection Service (a highly classified intelligence team) inserts eavesdropping devices in high value targets (such as Presidential palaces or embassies).
The NSA is responsible for global monitoring, collection, and processing of information and data for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes, specializing in a discipline known as signals intelligence (SIGINT). The NSA is entrusted with providing assistance to, and the coordination of, SIGINT elements for other government organizations - which are prevented by law from engaging in such activities on their own. To further ensure streamlined communication between the signals intelligence community divisions, the NSA Director simultaneously serves as the Commander of the United States Cyber Command and as Chief of the Central Security Service.The origins of the National Security Agency can be traced back to April 28, 1917, three weeks after the U. World War I ended on November 11, 1918, and the army cryptographic section of Military Intelligence (MI-8) moved to New York City on May 20, 1919, where it continued intelligence activities as the Code Compilation Company under the direction of Yardley. The Black Chamber was the United States' first peacetime cryptanalytic organization.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.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.