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+ - With Better Sharing of Intel comes Danger

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Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "Ellen Nakashima writes in the Washington Post that after the intelligence community came under heavy criticism after 9/11 for having failed to share data, officials sought to make it easier for various agencies to share sensitive information giving intelligence analysts wider access to government secrets but WikiLeaks has proved that there's a downside to better information-sharing. "One of the consequences [of 9/11] is you gave a lot of people access to the dots," says Jeffrey H. Smith, a former CIA general counsel. "At least one of the dots, apparently, was a bad apple." The director of U.S. national intelligence, James Clapper, says he believes the WikiLeaks releases will have a "chilling effect" on information-sharing. "We have to do a much better job of auditing what is going on on any [intelligence community] computer," says Clapper. "And so if somebody's downloading a half-million documents . . . we find out about it contemporaneously, not after the fact." To prevent further breaches, the Pentagon has ordered that a feature that allows material to be copied onto thumb drives or other removable devices de disabled on its classified computer systems and will limit the number of classified systems from which material can be transferred to unclassified systems and require that two people be involved in moving data from classified to unclassified systems. The bottom line is that recent leaks "have blown a hole" in the framework by which governments guard their secrets. According to British journalist Simon Jenkins "words on paper can be made secure, electronic archives not.""
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With Better Sharing of Intel comes Danger

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It is wrong always, everywhere and for everyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. - W. K. Clifford, British philosopher, circa 1876

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