National Security Agency surveillance
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Turbulence is a United States National Security Agency (NSA) information-technology project started c. 2005. It was developed in small, inexpensive "test" pieces rather than one grand plan like its failed predecessor, the Trailblazer Project. It also includes offensive cyberwarfare capabilities, like injecting malware into remote computers. The U.S. Congress criticized the project in 2007 for having similar bureaucratic problems as the Trailblazer Project.
According to Siobhan Gorman in a 2007 Baltimore Sun article, "The conclusion in Congress, two former government officials said, was that Turbulence was over budget, not delivering and poorly led, and that there was little or no strategy to pull it all together."
Trailblazer, the predecessor of Turbulence, had been cancelled in 2006 after a congressional investigation and a Defense Department's Inspector General's report found it over budget, wasteful, and ineffective.
One of the Trailblazer whistleblowers who helped with the inspector-general report, Thomas Andrews Drake, was later charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 for allegedly retaining five documents in his home. Two of those documents were about Turbulence; his defense pointed out that one of these documents was clearly marked "UNCLASSIFIED" and the other was declassified shortly after his indictment. Thomas Drake pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of unauthorized use of a computer on June 10, 2011, and was sentenced to one year probation.
Turbulence includes nine core programs, of which names are known:
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