SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2005, Issue No. 83
August 26, 2005

ARMY WARNS AGAINST PLACING SENSITIVE INFO ONLINE

In an internal message sent this month to "all Army leaders," U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Peter J. Schoomaker warned that sensitive military information is being posted by Army personnel on the internet and that "the enemy continues to exploit such information for use against our forces." He ordered increased attention to operational security to address the problem.

"Some soldiers continue to post sensitive information to internet websites and blogs, e.g. photos depicting weapon system vulnerabilities and tactics, techniques, and procedures," Gen. Schoomaker wrote.

"Such OPSEC [operational security] violations needlessly place lives at risk and degrade the effectiveness of our operations."

Gen. Schoomaker appended a related February 2005 alert from the Vice Chief of Staff, who elaborated further:

"The enemy is actively searching the unclassified networks for information, especially sensitive photos, in order to obtain targeting data, weapons system vulnerabilities, and TTPs [tactics, techniques, and procedures] for use against the Coalition. A more aggressive attitude toward protecting friendly information is vital to mission success. The enemy is a pro at exploiting our OPSEC vulnerabilities."

"Remind all personnel that the enemy will exploit sensitive photos showing the results of IED strikes, battle scenes, casualties, destroyed or damaged equipment, and enemy KIAs as propaganda and terrorist training tools.... We cannot afford to have our photos become training and recruitment tools for the enemy," the Vice Chief of Staff stated.

"Get the word out and focus on this issue now," Gen. Schoomaker wrote. "I expect to see immediate improvement."

A copy of Gen. Schoomaker's August 2005 message was obtained by Secrecy News. See:


INADVERTENT DISCLOSURE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS INFO

Upon reviewing 1.3 million pages of declassified records at the National Archives earlier this year, Energy Department officials found 76 pages of classified nuclear weapons-related information that were inadvertently released, according to a new report to Congress.

As in similar surveys in the past, most of the inadvertently released classified records concerned historical nuclear weapons storage locations or stockpile quantities -- information that does not represent a current proliferation hazard. However, some of the records also included unspecified weapons design information.

See "Seventeenth Report on Inadvertent Releases of Restricted Data and Formerly Restricted Data under Executive Order 12958," DOE Report to Congress, May 2005 (declassified version, August 2005):

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Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.

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