Secrecy News

Congress Enacts Insider Threat Detection Program

Congress ordered the Secretary of Defense to establish an information security program for detecting “unauthorized access to, use of, or transmission of classified or controlled unclassified information.”  The provision was included by the FY2012 defense authorization act that was approved in conference this week (section 922).

The insider threat detection program, conceived as a response to WikiLeaks, is intended to “allow for centralized monitoring and detection of unauthorized activities.”  Among other things, it is supposed to employ technology solutions “to prevent the unauthorized export of information from a network or to render such information unusable in the event of the unauthorized export of such information.”

The Congressional action was partially anticipated by President Obama’s executive order 13587 of October 7, 2011, which established new governance procedures for improving the security of classified information.

The new legislation adds some further detail and imposes deadlines for compliance.