Digital Conflict

By Kevin Coleman

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Kevin Coleman

Classified information routinely compromised

Details of a classified meeting held late in the afternoon on Wednesday, Feb. 1, have been publicly reported. So much for the term classified. Sources say the meeting was organized by the Senate majority leader’s office. Interesting timing, given that the day before a Senate hearing on worldwide threats took place. The follow-up meeting was said to have taken place between 12 top administration intelligence and security officials and some senators. The topic was cyber; specifically, senators were said to be interested in why more wasn’t being done to protect U.S. infrastructure and commercial companies from cyber espionage and attack. They wanted answers, that's for sure.

Information is classified based on the degree to which its unauthorized disclosure would damage our national security or in some cases, ongoing covert operations. Information is assigned one of a number of classification levels that include: 

  • Confidential
  • For official use only
  • Sensitive security information
  • Critical program information
  • Secret
  • Top secret
  • Top secret/secure compartmented information
  • Top secret/human intelligence

Although this disclosure has very limited details, what is bothersome is the amount of classified information that finds its way into the media. When individuals go through the process and obtain a security clearance, they are instructed on handling this sensitive data. I do not recall anything about criteria for disclosing classified data publicly. Full PDF files of restricted documents routinely find their way onto the Internet for all the users of the World Wide Web to see.

Posted by Kevin Coleman on Feb 09, 2012 at 9:03 AM


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