Pentagon, which post-9/11 opened up its secret data sharing network with other US agencies is now struggling to find the right balance between information sharing and prevent its misuse as reflected in the leak of secret cables by a whistle blower website.
“We are fighting to find the right balance here.
Clearly, pre-9/11, we didn’t have the right balance. We were not sharing enough. We were stove piping too much.
We, subsequent to that, have been pushing much more information towards the front,” the Pentagon spokesman, Geoff Morrell, told the MSNBC news channel in an interview.
“We don’t need to push START negotiation cables to our forces in Iraq or Afghanistan. So we are looking to correct that system,” Morrell said acknowledging the loopholes in the current system.
We have taken a number of measures since this first disclosure back in July where it has now required -- you can no longer write on DVDs and CDs, he said.
You need dual access to move stuff from the classified system to the unclassified system. There are more controlled, monitored locations for doing this.
And, ultimately, we have a system where it’s sort of like when you go spend something usual with your credit card -- buy something usual with your credit card, it will pop up an alarm,” he noted.
“I think we all, across the government, are trying to figure out how best to safeguard information.
If there are others who are doing it better than us, we look to learn from them. But I think we’re all struggling with this.
I don’t think we have a perfect system yet, but we are learning from these mistakes, and we are getting much better about it,” he said.
Morrell said WikiLeaks could not be compared with the New York Times, which is the only US media outlet to have got access to these documents.
“I would not draw any comparison between Wikileaks and the New York Times. The New York Times has not posted for all the world, including our enemies, to mine a database of unredacted raw documents, classified information that they solicited to be stolen. That’s just not the same,” he said.
“Clearly, would we prefer the New York Times not write about classified information? Yes. But to put them in the same apple cart I don’t think is fair,” Morrell said.