The NSA's mass upstream interception of Internet traffic has prompted many people in the security community to wonder what the agency's crypto-cracking capabilities might be in relation to encryption schemes and protocols that are in widespread use on the Internet today. Some crypto experts believe that there is not reason to believe the NSA can crack strong encryption algorithms vetted by scientists, but others said that the feasibility of breaking widely used encryption protocols like SSL/TLS depends on various factors, like key size and other configurations.
While the leaked budget document does not provide details about the NSA's ability to crack encrypted communication, it does confirm that cryptography and cryptanalysis are one of the U.S. intelligence community's key areas of interest.
Twenty-one percent, or roughly $11 billion, of the 2013 budget was intended for the Consolidated Cryptologic Program (CCP), which includes NSA programs and is staffed by around 35,000 employees. This makes it the second most expensive program of the intelligence community after the Central Intelligence Agency program, which was supposed to receive 28 percent of the funds.
Of the $11 billion used to fund the CPP, around $2.5 billion, or 23 percent, were intended for "collection and operations" and $1.6 billion, or 15 percent, for "processing and exploitation." The program's biggest expenses were estimated in the "enterprise management and support" category which was set to receive 26 percent of the funds.