WikiLeaks Prompts Stronger Safeguards for Classified Info

10.11.11 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

Inevitably and predictably, the U.S. Government has moved to systematically increase the monitoring of classified computer networks and to tighten the safeguarding of classified information in response to the indiscriminate publication of classified records by WikiLeaks.

An executive order issued on October 7 does not define the new security policies.  Instead, it establishes new mechanisms for monitoring, developing and implementing information system security policies, including a newly established Insider Threat Task Force.

In a gesture directed at whistleblowers, the new executive order states (sect. 7e) that “the entities created and the activities directed by this order shall not seek to deter, detect, or mitigate disclosures of information by Government employees or contractors that are lawful under and protected by” whistleblower protection statutes.

But while the systematic tracking of online behavior may not deliberately “seek” to deter or detect whistleblowers, it’s hard to see how it could fail to produce such effects.