A new report says the number of intelligence gathering operations has ballooned since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
"Top Secret America," a report released by The Washington Post, has revealed there are now 1,200 governement agencies as well as 1,900 private companies collecting information.
They work in counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence operations in 10,000 locations across the country.
Approximately 854,000 people - or nearly 1 1/2 times the number of people who live in Washington - have top-secret security clearance, the paper said.
The Post's two-year investigation has uncovered an intelligence community hidden from the public that, according to the paper, is largely lacking government oversight.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the Post that he doesn't believe the massive bureaucracy of government and private intelligence has grown too large to manage, but it is sometimes hard to get precise information.
"Nine years after 9/11, it makes sense to sort of take a look at this and say, 'OK, we've built tremendous capability, but do we have more than we need?" he said.
Read the entire report.