• June 17, 2024

Pentagon increasing surveillance to prevent another Snowden-style leak

On the heels of two of the largest intelligence breaches in American history, the Pentagon reportedly plans to roll out new rules requiring military contractors to more stringently monitor the activities of employees who work with sensitive materials.

US National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden (AFP Photo / Frederick Florin)
US National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden (AFP Photo / Frederick Florin)

Although the intelligence leaks attributed to United States Army Private Chelsea Manning and former contractor Edward Snowden have already spawned significant changes in the way sensitive information is seen and shared by workers with access to classified data, Politico’s Joseph Marksreported this week that the Pentagon plans to put into place further mechanisms intended to diminish the odds of another major breach anytime soon.

According to Marks, the Pentagon will within the next few months require that contractors with access to highly classified information be under persistent surveillance when they sign-on to government networks.

While the Manning and Snowden breaches have already each caused the Department of Defense and the intelligence community at large to alter the way they manage the country’s secrets, Marks reported that new rules will force those types of workers to be monitored like never before.

“Information about employees’ browsing on those networks will be combined with data analysis tools to spot suspicious behavior such as a Middle East analyst rooting around in intelligence documents related to China or Russia or an employee accessing documents at unusual hours,” Marks wrote on Wednesday this week. “The new monitoring regime is designed to give contractors early warnings that one of their employees may be stealing classified information either to leak it to the public as Snowden and Pvt. Chelsea Manning did or to pass it to a foreign government.”

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