This September 2008 newsletter from the National Information Assurance Research Laboratory (NIARL), an unit within the NSA’s Research Directorate gives an indication of the agency’s progress with cryptanalysis – which, with “only a handful of in-house techniques” – appears to be modest: see the Der Spiegel story Prying Eyes: Inside the NSA’s War on Internet Security, 28 December 2014.
In the wake of Dianne Feinstein’s accusations of CIA interference with investigations by the Senate Intelligence Committee – including accessing and searching the committee’s computers – Edward Snowden has criticised Senator Feinstein’s selective outrage, pointing out that her opposition to state surveillance sits oddly with her acquiescence to routine interference with the private communications of ordinary citizens.
As Chair of the Intelligence Committee, Senator Feinstein shares responsibility for overseeing the US intelligence community, including the NSA. In late 2013, Feinstein introduced a Bill that has generally been seen as an attempt to strengthen the hand of the agency and secure its authority for domestic bulk collection.
In a statement to NBC News, Edward Snowden said:
It’s clear the CIA was trying to play ‘keep away’ with documents relevant to an investigation by their overseers in Congress, and that’s a serious constitutional concern.
But it’s equally if not more concerning that we’re seeing another ‘Merkel Effect,’ where an elected official does not care at all that the rights of millions of ordinary citizens are violated by our spies, but suddenly it’s a scandal when a politician finds out the same thing happens to them.