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This paper traces the history of cyber security research funding by the U.S. government. Difficulties in accurately measuring the level of U.S. government research funding for cyber security are first described. Some of the legislative and bureaucratic mechanisms involved in funding and reporting such research today are reviewed. A qualitative, personal perspective on the ups and downs of US cyber security research funding from the late 1960s to 2010 is then provided. The essay is written for the thirtieth anniversary meeting of the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, held in May 2010.