Plugging Leaks

By Thomas Duffy / November 29, 2010 at 3:29 PM

The Obama administration is putting on a full-court press to prevent the unauthorized release of classified information following another WikiLeaks document dump this weekend.

In a memo issued yesterday, the new director of the Office of Management and Budget Jacob Lew laid the responsibility for controlling classified information at the feet of every government worker who has been granted access to that info.

The recent irresponsible disclosure by WikiLeaks has resulted in significant damage to our national security. Any failure by agencies to safeguard classified information pursuant to relevant laws, including but not limited to Executive Order 13526, Classified National Security Information (December 29, 2009), is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

Lew then laid down two new, specific instructions:

Each department or agency that handles classified information shall establish a security assessment team consisting of counterintelligence, security, and information assurance experts to review the agency’s implementation of procedures for safeguarding classified information against improper disclosures. Such review should include (without limitation) evaluation of the agency’s configuration of classified government systems to ensure that users do not have broader access than is necessary to do their jobs effectively, as well as implementation of restrictions on usage of, and removable media capabilities from, classified government computer networks.

The Office of Management and Budget, the Information Security Oversight Office, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence will stand up processes to evaluate, and to assist agencies in their review of, security practices with respect to the protection of classified information.