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.

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intelligence organizations in terms of personnel and budget.

As part of these responsibilities, the agency has a co-located organization called the Central Security Service (CSS), which facilitates cooperation between the NSA and other U. The NSA's actions have been a matter of political controversy on several occasions, including its spying on anti-Vietnam-war leaders and the agency's participation in economic espionage.

Cybersecurity policy expert Susan Landau attributes the NSA's harmonious collaboration with industry and academia in the selection of the AES in 2000 — and the Agency's support for the choice of a strong encryption algorithm designed by Europeans rather than by Americans — to Brian Snow, who was the Technical Director of IAD and represented the NSA as cochairman of the Technical Working Group for the AES competition, and Michael Jacobs, who headed IAD at the time.

According to Neal Koblitz and Alfred Menezes, the period when the NSA was a trusted partner with academia and industry in the development of cryptographic standards started to come to an end when, as part of the change in the NSA in the post-September 11 era, Snow was replaced as Technical Director, Jacobs retired, and IAD could no longer effectively oppose proposed actions by the offensive arm of the NSA.

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.

Thin Thread contained advanced data mining capabilities.

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.

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.