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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.

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 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'.

(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.