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The National Security Agency (NSA) is a national-level intelligence agency of the United States Department of Defense, under the authority of the Director of National Intelligence. Unlike the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), both of which specialize primarily in foreign human espionage, the NSA does not publicly conduct human-source intelligence gathering.
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.
Thin Thread contained advanced data mining capabilities.
It also had a "privacy mechanism"; surveillance was stored encrypted; decryption required a warrant.
Thin Thread was cancelled when Michael Hayden chose Trailblazer, which did not include Thin Thread's privacy system.Incoming traffic was successfully stored on agency servers, but it could not be directed and processed.The agency carried out emergency repairs at a cost of million to get the system running again.(Some incoming traffic was also directed instead to Britain's GCHQ for the time being.) Director Michael Hayden called the outage a "wake-up call" for the need to invest in the agency's infrastructure.In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, the NSA created new IT systems to deal with the flood of information from new technologies like the Internet and cellphones.
intelligence organizations in terms of personnel and budget.