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With Better Sharing of Intel Comes Danger

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the always-a-tradeoff dept.

Security 287

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. To prevent further breaches, the Pentagon has ordered that a feature that allows material to be copied onto thumb drives or other removable devices be disabled on its classified computer systems and will limit the number of classified systems from which material can be transferred to unclassified systems, as well as 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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LOL, USA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34453604)

Fuck wikileaks and fuck the Americans. Both are going down.

Cryptography is the answer (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34453620)

If things are done right, it can be made a true pain to get such documents off of government machines. Now whether the pentagon would be willing to be smart about this, I doubt.

Re:Cryptography is the answer (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34454008)

No, you've just described what sounds like DRM.

The answer is policy, auditing, and the willingness to admit that spills will occur. Putting effort towards mitigating the effect of that spill and cleaning up the results would be a better use of resources than would trying to ensure no spill ever occurs.

The answer is moving beyond the irony... (2)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454468)

http://www.pdfernhout.net/recognizing-irony-is-a-key-to-transcending-militarism.html [pdfernhout.net]
"Likewise, even United States three-letter agencies like the NSA and the CIA, as well as their foreign counterparts, are becoming ironic institutions in many ways. Despite probably having more computing power per square foot than any other place in the world, they seem not to have thought much about the implications of all that computer power and organized information to transform the world into a place of abundance for all. Cheap computing makes possible just about cheap everything else, as does the ability to make better designs through shared computing. ...
    There is a fundamental mismatch between 21st century reality and 20th century security thinking. Those "security" agencies are using those tools of abundance, cooperation, and sharing mainly from a mindset of scarcity, competition, and secrecy. Given the power of 21st century technology as an amplifier (including as weapons of mass destruction), a scarcity-based approach to using such technology ultimately is just making us all insecure. Such powerful technologies of abundance, designed, organized, and used from a mindset of scarcity could well ironically doom us all whether through military robots, nukes, plagues, propaganda, or whatever else... Or alternatively, as Bucky Fuller and others have suggested, we could use such technologies to build a world that is abundant and secure for all. "

Leak DRM? (3, Informative)

markdavis (642305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453616)

>"To prevent further breaches, the Pentagon has ordered that a feature that allows material to be copied onto thumb drives or other removable devices be disabled on its classified computer systems"

Yeah, like that is really going to make THAT much of a difference. Oh- make sure to remove all printers too, prevent all Email/IRC/IM, cut and paste, CD/DVDRW, etc. I suppose I can't criticize them for trying, but no amount of stuff like that is going to prevent information leaks if someone wants to leak information. It is no different than DRM.

A NOTE about HUGH PICKENS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34453702)

Hugh Pickens is a disingenuous asshole. Hugh started a relationship with me in NOVEMBER of 2008, and promised me that he was formalizing his divorce. THIS WAS NOT THE CASE. Yet, Hugh continued to tell me that we would soon be one, that he would not only continue to PAY MY RENT but move in and become my public lover... I not only waited, but I QUIT MY JOB in preparation of being a "house wife/husband", doing the wash and entertaining the guests. Huge went back to his female, and left me high-and-dry, and with a rash. WHAT AN ASSHOLE.

Re:Leak DRM? (3, Informative)

omni123 (1622083) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453752)

It's not that it is impossible to leak information--that's never a goal--the idea is to increase the difficulty and risk to such a level that it is not worth it for the average employee to attempt to leak whatever mediocre information they have access to and that the employees the skill and access are more loyal and less likely to attempt it. In this way it is different to DRM because there is no inherent risk associated (for most people) as you are not going to lose your job or risk federal/military prison for your actions and thus there is nothing to dissuade you from attempting it.

For the record it is not particularly easy to use a printer to duplicate, say, 250,000 diplomatic cables and walk out with them under your arms. It's not particularly difficult to prevent the average employee from accessing IRC/IM either and the obvious risks attached to e-mail are far too high. The approaches do need to be more sophisticated.

Next time, skip the "Intel Inside" sticker (4, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453872)

The approaches do need to be more sophisticated.

You mean like using a cell-phone camera to take a picture of a screen?

You can also encode a LOT of info into just one jpg or png of the family dog.

As for printing, you can use a 600dpi laser to output the whole bible in encoded format on 5 sheets of paper. So yes, you could walk out with 250,000 cables pretty quickly.

Re:Next time, skip the "Intel Inside" sticker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34454066)

If they actually care about security, they've already banned cellphones with cameras anyway.

Re:Next time, skip the "Intel Inside" sticker (1)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454192)

They did.

Re:Next time, skip the "Intel Inside" sticker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34454156)

i think using a 600dpi printer to print out an encoded image of a top secret document is fucking orders of magnitude harder than attaching a doc to an email.

Re:Next time, skip the "Intel Inside" sticker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34454274)

Lolwhat? Stick a BMP header on a binary blob of the right size, print from MSPaint.

Re:Leak DRM? (1)

Mogster (459037) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453964)

For the record it is not particularly easy to use a printer to duplicate, say, 250,000 diplomatic cables and walk out with them under your arms.

True, however if said documents were already in deadtree format then all one needs is a camera.

And a microSD card is a lot less painfull than a roll of film... or so I would imagine ;-)

Re:Leak DRM? (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454454)

the idea is to increase the difficulty and risk to such a level that it is not worth it for the average employee to attempt to leak whatever mediocre information they have access to

I can tell you from experience in government offices that adding any process raising the difficulty of getting to information, lowers productivity. Not a little, a lot.

Stovepiping data also prevents "connecting the dots" another frequent criticism of pre-9/11 handling of intelligence information. It's deja vu all over again.

Re:Leak DRM? (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453766)

Yeah, like that is really going to make THAT much of a difference. Oh- make sure to remove all printers too, prevent all Email/IRC/IM, cut and paste, CD/DVDRW, etc. I suppose I can't criticize them for trying, but no amount of stuff like that is going to prevent information leaks if someone wants to leak information. It is no different than DRM.

All printers on a secure network are also classified with big colored stickers on them. They may or may not log exactly who did what when on them. You decide.
BTW, everything else you said is entirely within the realm of possibility and/or already being done.

I suppose I can't criticize them for trying, but no amount of stuff like that is going to prevent information leaks if someone wants to leak information. It is no different than DRM.

At this level, "leaking" is no different than "spying"
You're pretty foolish to think nothing can be done about it. BTW, DRM works, this is why year old console games cost the same as new. PC games depreciate faster not because they are "old" because of piracy concerns. In fact, console games can maintain a steady price until the publisher decides to lower it, to promote a sequel for instance. No, entertainment shouldn't be free. You can buy a lap dance, but if you touch her tits, DRM will punch you in the face. It has a price, but she doesn't have take it just because you feel you deserve to do it.

How does that relate to technology? First, none of this discussion is a technology problem. They are all people problems, like most things. There isn't a mathematical proof for "secure" in the real world. That isn't the same thing as no security. Duh.

Re:Leak DRM? (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454298)

>You're pretty foolish to think nothing can be done about it.

You could, perhaps, protect a secret from being disclosed by 99.99% of people. But all it takes is one person and the secret is out. I never said they shouldn't try. Making it harder should be their goal.

>BTW, DRM works,

And you were calling ME foolish?

Re:Leak DRM? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34453866)

How are they going to block usb flash media? In the old days you could epoxy the usb ports and then just use ps/2 keyboard/mouse. But those are legacy now and you are forced to use USB on modern systems. Also, it's not exactly difficult to gain access to the usb headers to install unbroken ports.

I suppose you could write a filter driver to prevent access to removeable media... of course then all you have to do is make hardware that doesn't report itself as removeable.....
Alternately you could write a filter driver to only allow access to whitelisted volume guids, though that's pretty easy to workaround as well...

You're not going to achieve a technical solution.

As others have posted, two of the largest contributing factors to this are a) far too much data that should never be classified is, and the current system doesn't really allow you to unclassify the garbage, and b) use of of classified status to cover up illegal activity is or should be illegal, so it's only natural for people to blow the whistle in that case.

Re:Leak DRM? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453966)

I suppose you could write a filter driver to prevent access to removeable media... of course then all you have to do is make hardware that doesn't report itself as removeable.....

Then you code the OS such that any USB attached device which reports itself as non-removable doesn't get mounted and sends an email to the admin. It's USB. You write the USB drivers to not send anything out the USB port that isn't whether or not to turn on the CAPS light on the keyboard.

Re:Leak DRM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34454424)

>How are they going to block usb flash media?

Physically cage the machine so that nothing can be plugged in or unplugged unless the cage is unlocked.

Re:Leak DRM? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453930)

Something I'm not sure you are giving enough credit for is that when they make it harder, it also makes it harder to not get caught.

Hopefully, they are not ignoring other avenues to get the information off the systems. If they are smart, they should be monitoring traffic more and attempts to bypass the restrictions put in place. The more complex it becomes to commit an act, the more complicated avoiding detection becomes. With this in place, it might make it easier to find people attempting to make the leaks.

Re:Leak DRM? (2)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453972)

These sorts of restrictions are a daily part of any defense contractor's day (one who handles classified data/info.) The fact that the Pentagon and the government itself doesn't (until recently) hold itself to the same standards it holds its contractors is very telling.

It tells me they don't give a shit. So, let's take the DoD's clearances away until they can demonstrate good data handling of classified information. They do that to contractors they deem "incapable" of keeping secrets all the time. Time for their asses to taste the same medicine.

Re:Leak DRM? (4, Interesting)

AJWM (19027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454000)

feature that allows material to be copied onto thumb drives or other removable devices be disabled on its classified computer systems

Here's a question: Why the hell was that stuff ever enabled in the first place?

A place I worked a while back -- we did QA for voting systems and for games -- was a lot more secure than that. Only one system on the LAN had a CD burner, and that was passworded and the media use logged. Cameras everywhere. Firing offense to have your own thumb drives (or to plug in a device like an MP3 player), etc. Cell phones forbidden without express authorization. Everything logged. Air-gap -- and you had to know the passwords, including to the cypherlock on the door -- on the machine that could access customers' code servers. Defeatable? Sure, but not without leaving a trail a mile wide. And this was on the voting side of the company, security on the gaming side was even tougher. (Hey, now we're talking about real money!)

Apparently the government doesn't take security as seriously as game software companies do.

Re:Leak DRM? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454034)

Oh- make sure to remove all printers too, prevent all Email/IRC/IM, cut and paste, CD/DVDRW, etc.

Don't forget to confiscate everbody's crayons!

Re:Leak DRM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34454058)

I know just how effective these procedures will be.

Can anyone here say "Knoppix Bootable DVD?"

LOL

Fucking morons at the DoD. Never quite get computer security, do they?

Headline total fail (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34453622)

Come on, using a headline with Intel in it meaning something other than the company, on a geek site? Avoid the jargon and it becomes unambiguous: "With Better Sharing of Gov. Intelligence Comes Danger" (though using the words intelligence and government in the same sentence keeps making me do a double-take)

Re:Headline total fail (0)

rhathar (1247530) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453770)

I agree! Also, just the other day a news article said there was a "shoot out" and I couldn't figure out if they were talking about grass stalks or guns! And then someone wanted to show me a "duck bill" but I kept telling him that I wasn't going to pay for his charges. English is too hard.

For a good reason (2)

elewton (1743958) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453626)

Words on paper can be made secure because they're fucking worthless for replication and transfer.
They'd be even more secure if chipped into clay tablets in cuneiform.

Can't win for losing (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453630)

What I don't understand is why a low level intelligence guy in a forward base in the middle of nowhere had access to diplomatic cables from say, China.

Information is traditionally doled out on a 'need to know' basis. Yes, the intelligence agencies got nailed for closeting information before 9/11 but surely the answer to that is not 'information wants to be free'.

Re:Can't win for losing (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453698)

Indeed. What they were having trouble with was having nobody in the agencies sharing information. I'm surprised that they weren't limiting access to specific individuals that are in charge of coordinating operations. And probably only showing it outside the agency. As in looky but no touchy unless it's determined to require more than a bit of looking.

Then from there the folks that are doing that can decide sort of who gets access within the department. Providing it to everybody in the agency is neither necessary nor wise.

As they say loose lips sink ships.

write access only (1)

sampas (256178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453638)

Actually, they're only disabling "write" capability on the thumb drives, so they'll still be able to get viruses from reading them. Didn't they learn anything from Buckshot Yankee? How about no flash drives or portable media? How about not bypassing controls? Although I do feel bad for the Pentagon. They've created a "secure" network with 3 million users. It takes just one schmuck to make it insecure.

Re:write access only (2)

Naturalis Philosopho (1160697) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453880)

That's the thing; I'm sure that there's way more than one leak in their dam. If wikileaks managed to get a hold of this information, why would anyone believe that every intelligence agency on the planet didn't already have all this information? I'm perplexed at the persecution that wikileaks has faced over this cable release as all they really did was expose the U.S. government's inability to keep classified information out of the hands of, well, anyone and everyone. I mean, the government would try to shift the focus away from their failure, but do people really not get that this info has probably been in the hands of every enemy we have for a good long time?

The system is broken. We can either fix it or try to blow smoke about the "terrorist organization" that let us all know how glaringly lax our security is. I guess now that our government is locking useful information away from every one who does need it, we know if they are concerned with keeping us safe or keeping themselves from being embarrassed.

Re:write access only (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453906)

Write-access-only for USB devices could only be done via a software patch. So they are still vulnerable to:
  • emailing
  • ftp/etc
  • burning a CD (like the current WikiLeaks was done)
  • booting linux from a thumb drive and doing what you want

and I'm sure many more.

Last time I was at the Pentagon, all of their USB ports were physically disabled - either via breaking the socket with a pair of pliers, or by filling the socket with hot glue. What happened to that mandate?

Re:write access only (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454500)

Last time I was at the Pentagon, all of their USB ports were physically disabled - either via breaking the socket with a pair of pliers, or by filling the socket with hot glue. What happened to that mandate?

Probably the insistence on the computer manufacturing industry and keyboard/mouse makers on not providing PS2 ports or equipment capable of using them. It's even getting hard to find printers that can be connected to a parallel port anymore.

Most likely what happened to that mandate has a lot to do with the government stopping the act of saying, this is what we need, who can provide it, and going with this is what is available, who can we buy from. Some of that saves money, some of it is payback for campaign contributions or slogans that got people elected. But I bet it all is somewhat unintended consequences.

And so Wikileaks wins (5, Insightful)

Homburg (213427) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453646)

This is precisely the outcome that Wikileaks was looking for [wordpress.com] : Assange's plan has been to leak information in order to make those who wish to keep secrets paranoid, so that they clamp down on their own internal communications and become less effective:

The more secretive or unjust an organization is, the more leaks induce fear and paranoia in its leadership and planning coterie. This must result in minimization of efficient internal communications mechanisms (an increase in cognitive “secrecy tax”) and consequent system-wide cognitive decline resulting in decreased ability to hold onto power as the environment demands adaption. Hence in a world where leaking is easy, secretive or unjust systems are nonlinearly hit relative to open, just systems. Since unjust systems, by their nature induce opponents, and in many places barely have the upper hand, mass leaking leaves them exquisitely vulnerable to those who seek to replace them with more open forms of governance.

Re:And so Wikileaks wins (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34453710)

Incorrect. Assange's plan has been to make himself a celebrity. Well perhaps not at first, but once he got a taste of it, his motives changed.

Re:And so Wikileaks wins (2)

ZDRuX (1010435) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453862)

Wow, he told you all this? Not like you'd make assumptions about a man you've never met before or anything.

Re:And so Wikileaks wins (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453714)

Might could be, but the reality is that those measures should have been in place before now. If that's his goal, he's done a real favor to the US government that now has to actually handle the materials responsibly. And without a whole lot of real secrets being revealed.

Sure this stuff was leaked to everybody, but for god's sake we've had Israeli intelligence looking through or stuff on the sly, just imagine what the enemy is managing to get.

Re:And so Wikileaks wins (1)

hebertrich (472331) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454150)

seek to replace them with more open forms of governance....
hmmm good idea .. maybe we should.
I was thinking of a new form of government where elected officials have no right to vote on laws , rules , etc .. but where the citizen , through the net , would be asked to vote on the projects. I guess im not the only one.

Thanks for mentioning it :) Thank you WikiLeaks ;)

Re:And so Wikileaks wins (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454528)

Yes, I would like that too. The politicians just create the laws as needed and we can vote for them on the internet. And you can believe that I have enough zombie PCs out there that I can account for most all of not more of the apathetic population that just doesn't vote. I can finally have my Utopia..

Re:And so Wikileaks wins (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454184)

This is precisely the outcome that Wikileaks was looking for: Assange's plan has been to leak information in order to make those who wish to keep secrets paranoid, so that they clamp down on their own internal communications and become less effective:

The more secretive or unjust an organization is, the more leaks induce fear and paranoia in its leadership and planning coterie. This must result in minimization of efficient internal communications mechanisms (an increase in cognitive "secrecy tax") and consequent system-wide cognitive decline resulting in decreased ability to hold onto power as the environment demands adaption. Hence in a world where leaking is easy, secretive or unjust systems are nonlinearly hit relative to open, just systems. Since unjust systems, by their nature induce opponents, and in many places barely have the upper hand, mass leaking leaves them exquisitely vulnerable to those who seek to replace them with more open forms of governance.

I'm sorry, but the next time someone pops the question about why so many hate Assange as opposed to Wikileaks, this is it. The man is crazy.
So steps will be taken to ensure secret information is even more tightly controlled, which is basically the goal in the first place, and "you win" ?
This is the definition of insanity, friends.

"The more secretive or unjust an organization is"
He is absolutely convinced that secrets are bad. Wake up folks, that isn't Gotham City out your window.

Re:And so Wikileaks wins (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34454486)

"pops the question" ?

idiot

Re:And so Wikileaks wins (2, Insightful)

Bootsy Collins (549938) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454278)

This is precisely the outcome that Wikileaks was looking for [wordpress.com] : Assange's plan has been to leak information in order to make those who wish to keep secrets paranoid, so that they clamp down on their own internal communications and become less effective:

So the point is to make the United States' efforts to stop terrorist attacks less effective?

I know that's not what you're trying to say; it's not even what Assange is trying to say. But it's *one* of the effects of this process -- not the only one, I know, and people will argue that more good than harm has been done by these leaks. But it can't realistically be questioned that harm has been done. The question is essentially whether one believes that governments should ever keep secrets. The position of Assange, and most people here, appears to be "no, they shouldn't, ever." The kindest thing I can say about that position is that it's naive.

Re:And so Wikileaks wins (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454406)

So the point is to make the United States' efforts to stop terrorist attacks less effective?

I think it would be hard to make them less effective; they're pretty ineffective already. Some attacks proceeded anyway -- anthrax, the IRS guy -- some were stopped by civilians on the scene -- the fourth 9/11 plane, the shoe bomb -- and the ones that appear to have had the most government involvement are usually schmucks that never could have accomplished anything to begin with, and required help from the government to be even arguably a threat, and not just a joke.

The government clearly has no idea what it is, or should be, doing. The main thing that seems to be in our favor has been that no one with adequate resources who is competent enough to carry out an attack has wanted to do so. That or blind luck.

Re:And so Wikileaks wins (1)

Bootsy Collins (549938) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454440)

So the point is to make the United States' efforts to stop terrorist attacks less effective?

I think it would be hard to make them less effective; they're pretty ineffective already.

How do you know that? I presume, since you're making this assertion, that you're cleared and have access to information most people do not on U.S. anti-terrorism operations? Or are you concluding that stuff you haven't heard about must therefore not exist?

Either way, the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of U.S. anti-terrorism operations had very little to do with the point I made in the post to which you replied.

This just in... (1)

AllWorkAndNoPlay (1952586) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453650)

Sharing secrets with more people MAY have a risk of more people knowing your secrets. Shocking.

Seriously though, adding a bunch of people/agencies that can see your data is bound to result in some turbulence trying to maintain similar security levels. I wonder if people can still print?

Re:This just in... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453726)

Printing is a relatively small risk compared with however they smuggled the information out. A paper can only hold a small amount of data. Your average thumb drive can hold far more than a ream of paper can. And it's a small fraction of the size.

Forcing them to print the materials doesn't stop leaks, but it does greatly slow the process and greatly increase the likelihood of them getting caught trying to smuggle the stuff out of the building.

Re:This just in... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34453902)

You know they've got wireless printers now, right? A printer could just be running on an inverter in some car out in the car park and the paper would never have to pass through security in the lobby.

Still, it's probably far easier to upload the archives digitally via e-mail, FTP or some other means.

Re:This just in... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453958)

You can encode a lot of data in microprint on a ream of paper. At 10,000 char/square inch, or 750,000 char/page, single-sided (1-2" margins), single sided, that gives a double-sided ream of paper 750 megabytes.

That's a LOT of cables on one ream.

Going to 1200dpi can give you 8 megabytes per page. At that point, all of Wikileaks fits on one ream, not just the cables.

Re:This just in... (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454536)

Sharing secrets with more people MAY have a risk of more people knowing your secrets. Shocking.

Seriously though, adding a bunch of people/agencies that can see your data is bound to result in some turbulence trying to maintain similar security levels. I wonder if people can still print?

You know, one way to reduce the threat of leaks might be to stop classifying everything even remotely contentious (or honest) as Secret.

Seriously. It's a hell of a lot easier to protect and ring-fence 1000 documents that really, really need to be protected than it is to try the same thing with a quarter million of them.

One of the many services that WikiLeaks has rendered us is showing just how the knee-jerk tendency to designate everything Secret or Confidential doesn't serve any useful purpose.

the problem is to much marked classified (3, Insightful)

cenobyte40k (831687) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453658)

If we didn't mark everything under the sun as classified it would be a lot easier to keep the stuff we need to keep secret that way. Only about 5% of what WikiLeaks has put out ever needed to be classified to begin with, and 95% of that didn't need to be classified anymore.

Re:the problem is to much marked classified (5, Informative)

vxice (1690200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453874)

Actually only 46% was indeed marked classified. 6% was marked secret. None top secret. That is the whole point of classification levels.

Re:the problem is to much marked classified (2)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453982)

Sorry, citizen, but how we determine what IS and is NOT classified is classified information. So we tell them to classify everything, because they are not cleared to have this obviously sensitive classified information as to how we determine what is classified.

Now please do your duty and burn your eyeballs out with bleach, because even this information is meta-classified. Your government thanks you - and remember, we're watching!

Re:the problem is to much marked classified (3, Informative)

thesaurus (1220706) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454402)

Sorry, citizen, but how we determine what IS and is NOT classified is classified information.

It's fun to be snide, but sometimes the facts get in the way. How the U.S. Govt. determines what should and shouldn't be classified is spelled out in Executive Order 13526, the text of which is not classified.

Sec. 1.4. Classification Categories. Information shall not be considered for classification unless its unauthorized disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause identifiable or describable damage to the national security in accordance with section 1.2 of this order, and it pertains to one or more of the following: (a) military plans, weapons systems, or operations; (b) foreign government information; (c) intelligence activities (including covert action), intelligence sources or methods, or cryptology; (d) foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources; (e) scientific, technological, or economic matters relating to the national security; (f) United States Government programs for safeguarding nuclear materials or facilities; (g) vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems, installations, infrastructures, projects, plans, or protection services relating to the national security; or (h) the development, production, or use of weapons of mass destruction.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/executive-order-classified-national-security-information [whitehouse.gov]

I am dumb. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34453662)

I spent about five seconds staring at the title of this post, then I realized that "Intel" as in the processor company was the same word as "Intel" as in intelligence. Mind blown.

Why doesn't anyone mention the actual problem (5, Insightful)

kawabago (551139) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453672)

The real problem is the US government killed innocent people and covered it up. A soldier with a conscience decided his government should fess up and released all the documents. If the US government had been honest about it's mistakes and misdeeds, there would have been no motivation for a leak. When the US government breaks it's own laws and goes to great lengths to obstruct justice, it can expect this kind of release of confidential information because American soldiers have also been taught to do what is right. Forcing the government to admit it's illegal actions is the right thing to do.

Re:Why doesn't anyone mention the actual problem (4, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453774)

A soldier with a conscience decided his government should fess up and released all the documents

Ah, so because you don't like how a particular combat event played out, you think it's appropriate for diplomats dealing with very difficult foreign governments to not be allowed to frankly discuss the situation with their co-workers, out of the public eye (and away from monitoring by the very government being discussed)? You don't think that an important protest and opposition figure in Iran should be able to retain his anonymity while discussing circumstances inside that regime's thugocracy, because ... what, it's better he's dead at the hand of that government than that he rely on non-public communication with foreign diplomats and supporters? So glad you have the big picture, here.

Re:Why doesn't anyone mention the actual problem (3, Insightful)

NoSig (1919688) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453838)

So because you don't like how some frank discussions were revealed, you think it's appropriate to cover up killings and who knows what else under a veil of "classified"? So glad you have the big picture, here. That's a particularly unproductive way of arguing as perhaps you now appreciate.

Re:Why doesn't anyone mention the actual problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34454104)

Seems in his mind, 1 right and 2(+) wrongs make it right.

Re:Why doesn't anyone mention the actual problem (3, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454126)

No. Non-public communication and record keeping is a necessary part of running a government. It's absolutely productive to point that out and recognize that it's true. The argument being passed around, here, is that nothing the government does should be out of instant, continual public reach. That's wrong in principle and in practice. It's not that I don't like how some frank discussions were revealed ... it's that I don't like the contention that no diplomats should be allowed to have frank discussions at all. That bit of absurdity is so sophomoric that it has to treated as a troll.

Re:Why doesn't anyone mention the actual problem (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454252)

Ah, ... you think it's appropriate for diplomats dealing with very difficult foreign governments to not be allowed to frankly discuss the situation with their co-workers, out of the public eye (and away from monitoring by the very government being discussed)?

Red Herring Alert!

Does anyone really think that anyone in their country's diplomatic corps isn't fully aware of what sort of talk goes on "in private" among their cohorts in other countries? C'mon; these leaks didn't have any effect at all on any diplomatic discussions anywhere. That's just a ruse by the politicians to try to discredit the wikileaks folks. And those of us who are at all familiar with the situation just laughed at it.

If anything, it's this sort of clumsy propaganda effort that discredits our diplomats. The diplomats in other countries have got to be chuckling when they read of such things coming out of the "Land of the Free".

Re:Why doesn't anyone mention the actual problem (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454504)

If anything, it's this sort of clumsy propaganda effort that discredits our diplomats.

You obviously haven't been actually paying attention to the information that's coming out. This is public disclosure of cables from our own diplomats back to officials in the US, detailing - among other things - topics like how we're interacting with foreign governments as we conduct actions against terror cells, or what sort of cover a counter-terror operation is being given by another government. Or the identity of opposition figures in Iran's population. Glad you're so glib about it, though.

Re:Why doesn't anyone mention the actual problem (-1)

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Re:Why doesn't anyone mention the actual problem (1)

t2t10 (1909766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454404)

The real problem is the US government killed innocent people and covered it up.

That may well be the case, but it is not what Wikileaks has shown. Wikileaks showed that Iraqis killed more Iraqis than we previously suspected and the US didn't keep a full tally.

Forcing the government to admit it's illegal actions is the right thing to do.

It is the right thing to do, but Wikileaks hasn't done that.

Re:Why doesn't anyone mention the actual problem (3, Interesting)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454496)

It is illegal to use classification to cover up a crime or even a mistake. But you are really supposed to take the issue up with the classifying authority and then their superiors if that does not work. Each branch has an Office of Inspector General which ought to be able to deal with the misuse of classification. Further,. a person with a clearance is sworn not to reveal secrets. But, there have certainly been times when the abuse of classification has been so pervasive that only leaking could serve to rectify the wrongs. Don't know it this is one of those times. Most of what has been reveal so far seems to have been secret for a good reason: protecting sources or methods. Another aspect is that it is pretty hard for someone in the Army to object to the misuse of classification by the State Department. It is not in the chain of command. One could be right of wrong that classification has been abused but have no internal way of addressing the issue and perhaps be frustrated enough to leak.

Do the words, "Pentagon Papers" ring a bell? (2)

Chris Tucker (302549) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453678)

" 'words on paper can be made secure, electronic archives not.'"

Really? Really? You really said that and seriously meant it?

Re:Do the words, "Pentagon Papers" ring a bell? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453992)

They were probably thinking of "burn bags" - even shredders are useless.

Re:Do the words, "Pentagon Papers" ring a bell? (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454276)

" 'words on paper can be made secure, electronic archives not.'"

Really? Really? You really said that and seriously meant it?

Oh, c'mon; securing words on paper is trivial. All it takes is a small fire. Do you know of any way to reconstruct the text from the ashes?

This provides really high security. It makes the text secure from decoding by anyone.

[Emboldening mine, of course, for emphasis.]

Re:Do the words, "Pentagon Papers" ring a bell? (1)

Chris Tucker (302549) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454456)

Burning paper does not secure the words and images thereon. It merely destroys THAT particular paper the words and images are on. If there's even one copy, then the information in that particular destroyed document is not 'secure'.

The Pentagon Papers were secure... until Ellsberg loaded them into photocopier and sent copies to the NY Times.

Securing information is difficult at the best of times. It needs to be available to authorized parties and yet kept safely secured from unauthorized eyes.

Burning only secures out of date information, notes, etc, as well as destroying sensitive information in the case of, say, an invasion of your embassy, military base or captured aircraft or warship.

new language (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34453686)

invent a new language. make every public official learn it. all nitwit officials will be discouraged from becoming career politicians.

If you think this is bad (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34453706)

Sharing of AMD is even worse.

Re:If you think this is bad (1)

pipedwho (1174327) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454102)

Sharing of AMD is even worse.

Could be worse again if it was WMD.

Fools at the Washington Post... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34453722)

Of course it has to be a binary switch. You must either share all documents and be insecure, or not share any documents and be totally secure. Any middle ground is impossible. Thus the correct response to WikiLeaks must be to lock down all the documents and make sure nobody reads them at all. Only this will keep us safe!

That sounds like the same kind of logic that comes from a town that sends troops to Iraq in response to a threat from a man in Afghanistan, or that would like to repeat the policies of Herbert Hoover in response to a big recession, or would rather raise the retirement age on working stiffs than tax billionaires at 1999 rates. As always, these conclusions are treated as an inevitability -- there's just no other way to go.

Intel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34453776)

Intel doesn't share, it isn't open source. Intel is in business to make money.

Surely I am only one of five zillion who read the headline wrong.

That's not the classified guidelines I worked with (2)

Decker-Mage (782424) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453784)

While I was serving in the military and handling classified material on computers the regulations on data handling were quite clear. Classified material was never to be stored or manipulated on an unclassified system. Furthermore, even on classified systems the classification of the system set a maximum clearance level, material classified secret could not be handled on a classified confidential system, etc. You could handle confidential on a secret system but then it could never be put back on a classified confidential system. I can understand, in light of the 'connect the dots' problem that you need to have access to pretty much all material in the hopes someone will get the 'Eureka' moment but storing, even allowing access the wrong way is what gets you into this kind of mess and supposedly we had procedures to prevent it. Obviously not after 9-11.

And on that topic, post 9-11 changes, the Republicans, and Democrats when they wake up to this fact, can stick it. The post 9-11 changes to the handling classified material happened under a Republican administration at the behest of (severe pressure from) Congress on both sides of the aisle. As with the mortgage meltdown, Congressional members are pointing everywhere else but at themselves.

Re:That's not the classified guidelines I worked w (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453908)

While I was serving in the military and handling classified material on computers the regulations on data handling were quite clear.

Of course this changes in both time and place... I was in the us army early 90s era so your experience will probably vary.

You could handle confidential on a secret system but then it could never be put back on a classified confidential system.

Obviously allowed, not never, although it happened via certain procedures not just randomly shuffling data.

For an obvious close personal example, the fact that my ASP had a particular crate of 5.56mm rounds with a certain NSN and lot number is not sensitive (more like, "duh") but an aggregated report of all ammo supply stocks for the entire theater, held a much higher classification.

more sharing, but not for everyone (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453836)

More sharing is needed, and clearly they've done that to at least some extent. The problem is they included too many people in that sharing. Full access to "everything" should be limited to specific analysts with top clearance, and years of experience doing work under clearance (and thoroughly background/personality checked). It should NOT be for front line soldiers, which instead should have limited NTK access.

Shares of Intel (4, Funny)

rossdee (243626) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453852)

So we should invest in AMD then?

What direction you want to take? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453856)

Forward and fast, or backward and damn slow? Information sharing and collaboration have pluses too, denying it you are probably doing more damage for sure, and in a far broader area than the eventual leak of it could do. You have to take a compromise between security and functionality, and being aware what will cost those security restrictions.

Politics would be simpler if we could peek into our future to see what will bring our choices, too bad those damn blue butterflies are waiting for us right there.

Fixed summary. (1)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453860)

The bottom line is that recent leaks 'have exposed gaping wide security holes' in the framework by which governments guard their secrets.

TFTFY Timothy

'WikiLeaks:TMZ' - SNL gets it right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34453914)

This weekend SNL skit sums up Julian Assange for the self centered egotistical asshole he is.

Is leaking secret U.S. government documents that different from leaking photos of Paris Hilton without her underwear on?

Not really, according to "Saturday Night Live." On this weekend's edition of the NBC show, hosted by Robert De Niro, the cast took aim at WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, comparing him to Harvey Levin, the editor of the muckraking gossip website TMZ.com.

During the sketch, a message from President Obama (Fred Armisen) gives way to a staticky screen, which then reveals a greasy version of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (played by Bill Hader).

"Hi America, I have taken over your airwaves," he says in an Australian accent. "The leaks did not inspire a revolution as I had hoped, so tonight I present a new WikiLeaks, where the leaks are even more embarrassing and the details are even more sordid."
The screen flashes the title, "WikiLeaks: TMZ."

Hader then appears in a parody of the TMZ.com television show, in which he plays Harvey Levin, the creator of TMZ.com.

"Looking for world leaders behaving badly, come on," he says to his staff, who proceed to throw out footage they have recently gathered.

One shaky video shows Muammar Gadafi (Armisen) leaving a restaurant with a Russian prostitute (Kristen Wiig) by his side while another video shows Hamid Karzai (De Niro) dropping a suitcase full of money after claiming he doesn't "take bribes."

One last video shows a panties-less Hilary Clinton (Vanessa Bayer) flashing the camera.

"Do I suck a little bit?" Assange asks in conclusion. "Yeah, I do. [But] you try me for treason [and] you can’t, I'm from Australia."

Last month the WikiLeaks founder was attacked by President Obama and other heads of state around the world after his online whistle-blower group released thousands of State Department documents that included candid assessments of allies and enemies worldwide, not to mention inside information relating to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/2010/12/05/2010-12-05_saturday_night_live_mocks_julian_assange_with_wikileaks_tmz_parody.html#ixzz17HFIDQ33

Re:'WikiLeaks:TMZ' - SNL gets it right! (1)

Bryan-10021 (223345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454164)

The skit was really fun. Nice to see SNL treating Assange for what he is.

Re:'WikiLeaks:TMZ' - SNL gets it right! (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454178)

During the sketch, a message from President Obama (Fred Armisen) gives way to a staticky screen, which then reveals a greasy version of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (played by Bill Hader).

"Hi America, I have taken over your airwaves," he says in an Australian accent. "The leaks did not inspire a revolution as I had hoped, so tonight I present a new WikiLeaks, where the leaks are even more embarrassing and the details are even more sordid."
The screen flashes the title, "WikiLeaks: TMZ."

Ha! Cue Dennis Hopper [yahoo.com] .

how do you disable writing to external drives? (1)

0111 1110 (518466) | more than 3 years ago | (#34453940)

For example, officials said they were disabling all "write" capability to removable media such as thumb drives or disks, on DoD classified computers,

Can someone take pity on me and explain what the heck they are talking about here? Unless a "classified" computer is very different from a regular one, I don't understand how that is possible. I guess you could try to desolder and remove all of the external USB and/or esata and/or firewire ports from the motherboard in addition to removing any pins on the motherboard that are made to give you additional ports. Wouldn't you have to also remove any unused PCI slots as well? Even after doing all that someone could just open the case and plug an internal drive into a spare sata port and PSU power connection. I guess you may be able to defeat that by removing all the sata and pata ports from the motherboard except for one port for a connected hard drive. You couldn't have multiple hard drives because someone could just unplug one.

Re:how do you disable writing to external drives? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454146)

None of that is hard to do. The US government could buy custom systems with exactly the external interfaces they need. They could install an OS which does only what they require. They could use thin clients everywhere and not provide a screen shot function.

Re:how do you disable writing to external drives? (1)

mmcxii (1707574) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454194)

You can do it with software. Look over this [lmgtfy.com] for starters.

Re:how do you disable writing to external drives? (1)

GumphMaster (772693) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454350)

We used to remove all writeable removable storage devices from machine and their corresponding drivers from the operating system. We found that two-part epoxy was an expedient method of disabling physical USB, firewire, and unused network interfaces. Ultimately this was only a precaution because the machines concerned spent their entire life inside a PC-sized safe bolted to a desk, with only the necessary network, keyboard, mouse, and video cables exiting.

Wait, wait. (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454036)

You really want to tell me that up to now anybody could put in his 64GB USB drive and copy all the data he/she wants to copy? Seems relaxed to me taken into account that probably the entrance is guarded by an armed guard.

This is NOT about "intel" (0)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454040)

The issue that concerns them is being denied the ability to keep secrets. If the majority of humans weren't so selfishly short-sighted, they would recognize this simple and obvious truth:

Keeping secrets doesn't preserve democracy... instead it enables tyranny.

Keeping secrets NEVER serves the Common Good; instead it serves selfish tribalistic goals. That tribe could be an entire nation, or more likely it's an "elite" minority within a nation seeking to gain or maintain dominance and exploitation.

This is why the so-called open source movement is far more profound than people realize; it's not just about software, it's about putting an end to ALL secrets and finally achieving true freedom for all (as opposed to a few). We need open source government, and an open source government doesn't keep secrets and doesn't need information-sharing lockdown protocols.

Re:This is NOT about "intel" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34454112)

Keeping secrets NEVER serves the Common Good

Tell that to the informant who's trying to work with friendly governments in an attempt to defeat a tyrannical regime. If information in these WikiLeaks releases lead to the death/torture of someone trying to do the right thing with no expectation but that he not be betrayed then I say put bullets in the heads of the betrayers.

This is about more than just the US government. Hate them all you want but remember that some of these contacts are putting themselves in harms way to help along their fellow countrymen. They're not profiting from this in any way than attempting to set things right.

Re:This is NOT about "intel" (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454114)

This is why the so-called open source movement is far more profound than people realize; it's not just about software, it's about putting an end to ALL secrets and finally achieving true freedom for all (as opposed to a few). We need open source government, and an open source government doesn't keep secrets and doesn't need information-sharing lockdown protocols.

What color is the sky in your universe? There has never been an organization which didn't keep secrets. Many of us keep secrets from ourselves. A totally open government would quickly be destroyed by non open governments.

Re:This is NOT about "intel" (0)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454280)

A totally open government would quickly be destroyed by non open governments.

Respectfully, bullshit. I don't think you can prove that statement. There has never been a crucible in which you can even test that claim. It's repeated ad nauseum as a justification for keeping secrets - by those who wish to keep them - precisely because it cannot be proven. It's a prerequisite to tyranny, ALWAYS. You cannot have tyranny without secrets.

The fact that there may have never been an organization that hasn't kept secrets doesn't prove that it preserves democracy; it only describes previous human (tribalistic) history. Keeping secrets is DEscriptive of human nature; open source methodology is PREscriptive: it requires effort and evolution.

Is that all to which we should aspire, only that which we have done, and how we did it, before? Aren't you a forward thinker!

Re:This is NOT about "intel" (1)

protektor (63514) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454460)

There are very limited times that you would not want to scream your head off about certain information that the government is doing. I can think of at least one very serious and very major secret that had to be kept secret or the US and everyone else was totally and completely screwed. "D-Day" It was vital to keep secret when and where the US was going to do a major beach landing to make a drive for Germany. We lied our butts off and said it was going to be somewhere else, and the Germans moved their troops to that area rather than Normandy. It would have cost untold numbers of lives if everyone had screamed exactly what the government was doing. It cost a lot of lives to do the Normandy invasion, even though it was kept quite. So don't tell me that *EVERYTHING* the government does must be open. That is crap. There are times when the government *MUST* keep secrets.

Now do we need a more open government? You bet. The level of secrecy for the government is crazy, not everything needs to be secret. Is there any reason to keep the financial industry and the banking industry a secret? Absolutely not. Is there a reason to keep secret a majority meetings of senators and representatives? Absolutely not. Keep some of the defense meetings discussing weapons development and status of classified operations, secret. The rest need to see the sunlight of day. We absolutely do not need to keep meetings with lobbyists secret. Do we need to keep things the Federal Reserve does secret? Absolutely not, the public has a right to know how much money is being printed and who is getting it and where it is going. It's our money after all.

If banks or financial institutions fail, it's because of incompetence, not because you exposed their Fed dealings. Bad companies need to fail, not be propped up by the government, that just leads to bigger problems later. You bail out a company once they know they can do anything they want, because you will bail them out again because "they are too big to fail". I think that is crap. If a company is too big to fail then they need to be broken up in to smaller more manageable pieces by the government when they are bailed out.

The government always keeping everything secret only leads to corruption.There is nothing more cleansing for corruption than the light of day.

Words on Paper Secure (1)

protektor (63514) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454070)

You can make words on paper secure? Really? Are you sure about that? I seem to recall at least one time when that wasn't the case. I seem to recall some "Top Secret" level documents that got out. You may better remember them as the "Pentagon Papers". Oh and then I remember another time someone leaked information and a few papers to the newspapers. You might remember it better as the "Watergate Scandal".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentagon_papers [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watergate [wikipedia.org]

Now what was that about words on paper can be made secure but not electronic archives? They are both the same. You can make them secure, but if someone wants to release the information then there isn't much you can do about that. The human being in the equation will always be the weak link. Someone committed to releasing the information will find a way eventually. History is proof of that.

Re:Words on Paper Secure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34454270)

And the whole history of espionage before computers arrived was all about sweeping classified files off a desk into a carrier bag. Aldrich Ames, Robert Hansen, Cambridge Circle etc. Leave the pros, even geeky nuclear scientists were able to do it, Fuchs and the Brit guy.

It's a people thing; if you can't keep your employees' morale up, you can't stop the leaks. It's that simple. America was screwing people all around with the CIA, and it cries when it's stuff gets leaked? Well, America isn't known for the stiff upper lip.. or fairplay.

A downside to what? (1)

RavenousBlack (1003258) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454110)

This is a downside to the government doing something that they don't want others to know about in the first place. The downside comes from the fact that this information exists, not that it leaked. The quote on the bottom of the page is very appropriate right now. "Truth is hard to find and harder to obscure"

Where's the danger? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34454238)

A better byline for this article might be: With Better Legitimate Sharing of Intel Comes Increased Illicit Sharing of Intel. The danger, if there is any, is unclear and certainly not mentioned in this article.

WikiLeaks shows there are government issues (1)

protektor (63514) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454284)

WikiLeaks is showing that there are multiple problems with the government in the US. There is a problem of making sure people aren't walking out of buildings with information that they shouldn't. There is the problem of our government telling us one thing, and the truth being something completely different. Everyone thinks the leaks were this super secret, bad for the troops and the country, information. Remember none of this is "Secret" or above. This is all stuff classified "Sensitive". So I can't imagine that operational details that would effect anyone would only be classified "Sensitive" that would be kind of crazy. Also names of common people are being redacted, so as not to cause them any problems.

Security classifications starting at the lowest level for the US are: Controlled Unclassified Information, Confidential, Secret, Top Secret, and Compartmented Information. "Controlled Unclassified Information", such material might cause "undesirable effects" if publicly available. It controls who is allowed to see these documents. This is not a clearance level but rather a classification level for documents. "Confidential", such material would cause "damage" or be "prejudicial" to national security if publicly available.

That is what we have here, confidential documents. Documents that they didn't want getting out because it would make them look bad and show that they lied. The person who stole these documents was a first class private. He didn't have access to "dangerous" secrets. There would be no need for him to have a "Secret" or "Top Secret" level clearance at his rank.

Did he steal? You bet. Is he going to jail over it? I would be surprised if he didn't. Is WikiLeaks a terrorist organization? Don't be silly, if they are then so is every newspaper who posted the same information, and there are dozens of mainstream news outlets that posted this information. There are even a few newspapers who printed the raw cables not redacted with the names of even common people showing. WikiLeaks has made sure to redact all the common man/non-pubic figure names from the cables before posting them on their website.

We still have freedom of the press in the US, and it doesn't say who is allowed to be press and who isn't. The Supreme Court has ruled that the media outlet that receives these documents can not be held liable for their theft. The media outlet can release the information if there is clear news value, and value for the public to know the information. Does the public need to know the government lied? You bet they have a right to know that. Does the public have a right to know officially that friends of the Saudi Arabian government are funding Al-Qaeda? You bet. Does the public have a right to know that the US is bombing Yemen rather than the Yemen government? You bet. If none of this was news worthy they wouldn't be printing this information, they would instead be just talking about the leak of information.

Why would sharing Intel processors be bad? (1)

deisama (1745478) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454338)

I know a lot of you guys are AMD fans, but seriously I think you're being a little over dramatic about them having a higher market share...

The need for FOSS intelligence tools (still)... (1)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34454442)

http://pcast.ideascale.com/a/dtd/76207-8319 [ideascale.com]
http://groups.google.com/group/openmanufacturing/msg/2846ca1b6bee64e1 [google.com]

Imagine these sorts of things applied to, say, medical research and trying to understand how a money trail affects research results...

Ask the RIAA/MPAA for advice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34454470)

They know a lot about the subject of preventing copying in the digital realm, thus solving the problem forever. FOREVER.

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