This week's revelations about the National Security Agency's hyperactive interest in seeing what's happening online probably inspired you to wonder how much that privilege is costing you.
The very short answer is: We have no idea. The NSA, being a secret agency, doesn't share details about how much money it spends. Basic details about the government organization (like budget and staff size) are classified.
But we can guess. Each month, the Treasury Department releases a statement outlining how much various government divisions and organizations have spent. Over the past six months, here's what spending in the Department of Defense, the NSA's umbrella agency, has looked like.
The Monthly Treasury Statement allows us to dive a little deeper. It breaks out several of the categories above into (very, very large) subcategories: Army, Navy, Air Force, and Defense Agencies. That last category apparently includes the NSA.
So far this year, here's how much each of those divisions has spent this year. The Armed Services branches are responsible for well over 90 percent of the department's personnel spending. But the agencies — which also includes other organizations, like the Defense Intelligence Agency — are responsible for nearly a third of spending on construction. (See also.)