Friday, January 7, 2011

U.S. reassesses its security systems York Times

U.S. reassesses its security systems

The government orders the counter remedy the shortcomings that allowed the leaks to Wikileaks - Hundreds of people mentioned in the cables are alerted as a precaution

Antonio Cano - Washington - 08/01/2011

Agencia Nacional de Seguridad, en Fort Meade
An operating room of the National Security Agency in Fort Meade, Maryland. - REUTERS

The U.S. administration has launched this week a reassessment of the safety standards under which they operate all the agencies involved in the management of official secrets in order to detect errors that allowed the leak of the State Department's roles and adapt surveillance systems to the new post-Wikileaks.
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The director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB, its acronym in English, an organ of the White House), Jacob Lew, sent on Monday to the heads of all government departments and agencies with access to classified documents a long questionnaire which aims to identify leaks that may exist in the process.
The questionnaire, which was developed by the major centers of American counter-Oversight Office of Information Security and the National Counterintelligence Executive, including the Office of the Director of National Intelligence "seeks, among other things, to detect possibility that disgruntled officials are leaking classified information.
In this regard, the circular sent by the director of the OMB asked the departments if they have psychologists and other professionals in assessing the degree of satisfaction of their employees and level of commitment to their work. U.S. authorities blamed the first leaks of Wikileaks to a Pentagon official, the soldier Bradley Manning , who is still under arrest.
The questionnaire, which has had first access NBC will also investigate the hobbies of Officials, pages websites they visit, how often they travel abroad and a number of other private circumstances that might lead to suspicion about their behavior.
This order of the White House happens to another sent on Nov. 28, the same day that began publishing in the country and other international media the papers of the State Department, which requested a manual counter services to retrofit safety standards which insights as Wikileaks had.
These services now sent instructions are distributed to agencies of government, which set a deadline of Jan. 28 to respond to these requirements. Although communication of the OMB does not say so openly, it appears that later made the adjustments necessary to remedy the shortcomings found in this revaluation.
With this effort, the Administration tries while anticipate pressure from Congress, which in the coming days will initiate an investigation, with hearings likely included on the episode of Wikileaks and the degree of protection afforded to the secrets of State.
The circular signed by Lew says the aim of this analysis is to "strengthen security and counterintelligence systems to ensure the protection of classified information concerning national security." The director of OMB includes a memorandum of Robert Bryant, head of the National Counterintelligence Executive, and William Bosanka, director of the Office for Supervision of Information Security, which they say their instructions are intended to "reassess the current state of our system of information security. "
These guidelines are to update data on who access to certain information, how and who decides those disclosures, how often reviews the permits, what technological means are used (in particular it examines the use of memory sticks), what services are maintained with foreign intelligence, what level of training are people with access to secrets and a long series of suggestions to fill a nine-page document which thoroughly reviewed all the details related to the handling of secrets.
This is the most ambitious initiative launched by the Government of Barack Obama in response to Wikileaks leaking, probably the most important reassessment has been done in many years of information security systems in the United States.
The Administration tries to rectify leaks and that, as in the case of State Department papers, have blush American intelligence services to their own countrymen and caused difficulties in the country's relations with some of its allies in world.
Washington's chief complaint against the revelations of Wikileaks is, however, that have endangered the lives of some people who advocate freedom and human rights against totalitarian regimes.
Although so far there is no evidence that this is true, the newspaper The New York Times , another who has published Wikileaks papers, reported yesterday that the State Department has warned, "hundreds of human rights activists, foreign government officials and businessmen "on the danger to them after the revelations made public.
The same paper adds that the State Department has not been able to detail what precise threat posed to these people. For now, the most affected by the leaks has been the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Gene Cretz , who was relieved of duty after learning his indiscretions on the personality of Muammar Gaddafi.

U.S. reassesses its security systems York Times