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.
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The Black Chamber successfully persuaded Western Union, the largest U. telegram company at the time, as well as several other communications companies to illegally give the Black Chamber access to cable traffic of foreign embassies and consulates.
Soon, these companies publicly discontinued their collaboration. Stimson, who defended his decision by stating, "Gentlemen do not read each other's mail".
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.
The NSA mounted a major effort to secure tactical communications among U. However a variety of technical and operational problems limited their use, allowing the North Vietnamese to exploit and intercept U. The White House asserted that the NSA interception had provided "irrefutable" evidence that Libya was behind the bombing, which U. President Ronald Reagan cited as a justification for the 1986 United States bombing of Libya.
In 1999, a multi-year investigation by the European Parliament highlighted the NSA's role in economic espionage in a report entitled 'Development of Surveillance Technology and Risk of Abuse of Economic Information'.
Despite the Chamber's initial successes, it was shut down in 1929 by U. However, the AFSA was unable to centralize communications intelligence and failed to coordinate with civilian agencies that shared its interests such as the Department of State, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Truman ordered a panel to investigate how AFSA had failed to achieve its goals.
The results of the investigation led to improvements and its redesignation as the National Security Agency.
Its true mission, however, was to break the communications (chiefly diplomatic) of other nations.
Its most notable known success was at the Washington Naval Conference, during which it aided American negotiators considerably by providing them with the decrypted traffic of many of the conference delegations, most notably the Japanese.
This led to investigations by Congress and the NSA and Do D Inspectors General. It also included offensive cyber-warfare capabilities, like injecting malware into remote computers.