Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

More secrecy will be worse

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Nancy Youssef reports for McClatchy:

WikiLeaks’ release of tens of thousands of classified government documents on three separate occasions this year has prompted U.S. officials to add layers of new safeguards. But that very impulse has sparked debate among experts about whether those new protections might make national security secrets more vulnerable, not less.

Of particular concern is that officials will be tempted to keep documents under wraps by giving them higher classifications so that fewer people have access to them. That sort of thinking, some argue, is exactly what created the situation where a disaffected Army private in Iraq could download the confidential reports of ambassadors and generals on their meetings with top foreign officials and give them to WikiLeaks.

“Too much information is being called classified, and we are protecting trivia and crown jewels with the same level of security,” said Steven Aftergood, the director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists. Classifying more “is a predictable reflex (in light of WikiLeaks), but I think it needs to be thought through carefully.”

Since WikiLeaks began this week publishing classified State Department cables that date back to 1966 and touch on nearly every international issue, the State Department removed its cables from the Defense Department’s Secret Internet Protocol Router Network, or SIPRNet, the Pentagon’s classified computer system, and the White House has ordered agencies across government to look for better ways to protect information.

In its announcement, the White House said that every government agency that deals with classified information has been ordered to assemble a team “of counterintelligence, security, and information assurance experts” to review the agency’s procedures for “safeguarding classified information against improper disclosures.” . . .

Continue reading. Of course, the difficulties that increased secrecy will create for governments are part of the point of WikiLeaks, as Assange has explained.

Written by LeisureGuy

5 December 2010 at 10:50 am

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