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Leaked: US government strategy to prevent leaks

By Emil ยท 49 replies
Jan 7, 2011
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  1. Update: As pointed out by many of you on the comments below, the document we referred to in the original story as "leaked" was actually a non-classified document. The OMB memo was posted on the White House website to instruct users prevent leaks that filtered through document's metadata. Original story is below:

    Read the whole story
  2. Benny26

    Benny26 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,533   +48

    Oh how beautiful...Irony at it's best :D
  3. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,578   +623

    I'm a 20-year military vet - and due to the type of work I was involved in carried a very high security clearance. But I can tell you from experience, and from what I've seen of the Wikileaks material, those memos could have come from damn near anyone. I'd say 70% of active military has at minimum a Secret clearance (which all those memos would fall under). And to qualify for a Secret clearance involves nothing more than checking your criminal and credit history which can be done online in 5 minutes. That's it. So we're talking about 18 year old kids with access to this material. And that's just from the military side - there's still the diplomatic corp or civil government agencies. Trying to find out who is passing these on is going to be near-impossible.

    This strategy passed down isn't going to do anything. If it were me, I'd freeze all document access for people carrying a Secret or lower classification until they had passed a personal interview and lie detector test plus re-qualified for their security clearance level.
  4. princeton

    princeton TS Addict Posts: 1,677

    Doesn't matter. People like sociopaths ect always slip by lie detector tests. Preventing leaks is near impossible, especially for a country like the US.
  5. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,578   +623

    Yeah, near impossible but not entirely impossible. I think with some hard-core interviews, lie detector tests and thorough background checks you'd have a good chance of flushing someone out. Personally, I believe the leaks came from the diplomatic corps (embassy staff) somewhere. The vast majority of the Wikileak documents detail embassy-type musings and geopolitical stances. I'd put odds that the person leaking these is either 1) some disgruntled embassy employee who has been passed up for promotion or has a beef with their boss, or 2) someone sympathetic with extremist Muslim efforts (or is anti-Israel) working as a embassy staff member. Embassies always hire a few locals to help out deal with the respective culture - could be one of those.
  6. Benny26

    Benny26 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,533   +48

    Arn't military personnel trained to pass lie detectors, in case of capture in a foreign country? :D

    Or is that just the spy's and spook's?
  7. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,578   +623

    LOL...naw, you've been watching too many movies, Benny. ;)
  8. Darkshadoe

    Darkshadoe TS Guru Posts: 571   +112

    Lie detectors are not reliable. All they measure is fluctuations in blood pressure and respiration. The reason that people get caught lying is the post-interview by the person giving the lie detector. He/she takes what information you gave during the test and manipulates it to see if they can catch you lying.
  9. A lot of Assessing, and zero of actually doing anything to prevent leaks.

    That documented is useless even to the party it was intended for. Information has been leaking out of Government walls for decades and it will continue to do so till they day Government no longer exists.

    You might as well send this document to teachers in grade school to prevent kids eating crayons.
  10. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,270   +91

    I don't really see the "strategy" here though... All they did was restate what's obvious.
  11. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,011   +18

    Then maybe government employees will get it. :)
  12. crazyboy88

    crazyboy88 TS Rookie Posts: 21

  13. AllEyezOnMe

    AllEyezOnMe TS Member

    Maybe Obama will be accusing James Bond of the leaking the leaks next, that's how farcical this is becoming lol
  14. Lie detector tests DON'T WORK so why would any rational government agency use them?

    OH WAIT........
  15. I don't think so, neo-marxist communist sympythyzer you! AMERICA will always stand, under Our Own Constitution, in Freedom, Liberty, and Humility for all the world to see. come on, anonymous guest, get with it. Justice for All, not just the nutty lunatics who wish to see destruction, chaos, anarchy, 'revolution', etc. etc. etc. ... did I say chaos ? yeah, no. We The People realize that chaos is merely a byproduct of irrational groupthink!!! ~~~Much like that emitted from the Progressive international 'movement' (kinda like a bowl movement if you ask me) . We'll keep Our God, Our guns, and Our Honor, Courage, and Commitment to the last breath of the the commie-crapola-cadres around the world, and then we will sing, dance, have a Tea Party, and then probably end up pissing all over it's ugly, unmarked mass grave - bwah, hah, hah, hah..... but seriously. it will happen. Freedom of the Individual, baby, under Law, YEAH ! Get Some :)
  16. this is not a leak... it is a public document, about a government policy. this is how it is -supposed- to be done.

    sensationalize much?
  17. Memo to Government: How about some effin' transparency in the sh*t we elected you to carry out in our name. Mofo's!!!
  18. Unclassified documents are unclassified. That pretty much means anyone can look at them.

    It's not ironic. It's not even special.
  19. MtM313

    MtM313 TS Rookie

    Loyalty can neither be bought nor enforced. It must be earned. Think about that.
  20. The document is UNCLASSIFIED.

    Not For Official Use Only. Not Classified. No Secret.

    Therefore NOT LEAKED

    You are *****s.
  21. The majority of documents are in addition to that unnecessarily classified as secret.

    And in addition to this - many documents classified as secret have a secrecy lifetime that is way shorter than what the classification sets them to be.

    However - the wikileaks events have provided us with one insight - don't write down things unless you really need to. Especially the opinions by diplomats shouldn't have been there in the first place. Don't forget that a lot of information have very little value in the long run, so if embarrassing and sensitive information is kept out of the volume channels then a leak wouldn't be dangerous in the long run.

    Always have an alternate plan if the primary plan is revealed.

    And don't ever think that a solution will be leak-proof. Even Benjamin Franklin realized this; "Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead".

    If something is written down - use keycodes that are known only to the people involved. That will at least delay anyone who get their hands on the information long enough to prevent them from finding it useful. Even if the document is transferred through encrypted channels there are always a risk of someone intercepting it. If it's intercepted but lacks context or is very ambiguous then it's a lot less useful for people outside of the circle. This is in a way what the Navajo Code Talkers were doing. Use a language unknown to the outside world, but use code words for everything in addition to that. The result was that even if a Navajo was captured that person couldn't make sense of the messages presented to him if he wasn't an educated code talker.
  22. It seems to me, that if the Government didn't have embarrassing information to cover up, this wouldn't be an issue.

    Keep the true secrets with the people who need to know them, and actually have a government that is "open" and "transparent" (an issue that the current president campaigned on, and was very hardcore about)... this problem is kept to a minimum. Amazing.
  23. They forgot page 12:

    The only way to prevent the leak of secret information is to not have secrets.
  24. It's actually quite easy to track releases. All they have to do is send out a slightly different letter (change some words around) to each agency. Then compare the one leaked to the media to the agency that leaked it. This is not rocket science.
  25. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,573   +65

    I'm confused because the document itself says it is "Unclassified"

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