Author Topic: Unhappy with US foreign policy? Pentagon says you might be a 'high threat'  (Read 722 times)

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Offline Rudi Jan

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Unhappy with US foreign policy? Pentagon says you might be a 'high threat'

Wed Aug 7, 2013 11:14PM GMT
Matt Sledge, The Huffington Post
source: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/08/07/317711/unhappy-with-us-foreign-policy-high-threat/


Watch out for "Hema."

A security training test created by a Defense Department agency warns federal workers that they should consider the hypothetical Indian-American woman a "high threat" because she frequently visits family abroad, has money troubles and "speaks openly of unhappiness with U.S. foreign policy."

That slide, from the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), is a startling demonstration of the Obama administration's obsession with leakers and other "insider threats." One goal of its broader "Insider Threat" program is to stop the next Bradley Manning or Edward Snowden from spilling classified or sensitive information.

But critics have charged that the Insider Threat program, as McClatchy first reported, treats leakers acting in the public interest as traitors -- and may not even accomplish its goal of preventing classified leaks.

DISA's test, dubbed the "CyberAwareness Challenge," was produced in October 2012, a month before the Obama administration finalized its Insider Threat policy. The slide about Hema is included in a section of the training about "insider threats," which are defined by an accompanying guide as "threats from people who have access to the organization's information systems and may cause loss of physical inventory, data, and other security risks."

Both Hema's travel abroad and her political dissatisfaction are treated as threat "indicators." Versions of the training for Defense Department and other federal employees are unclassified and available for anyone to play online.

"Catch me if you can," the training dares.

In a statement to The Huffington Post, Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Damien Pickart said, "DISA was sensitive to any civil liberty concerns that might arise from any portion of the curriculum, which is why it coordinated with 26 federal agencies to ensure the maximum amount of input was received before going live."

"When considering personnel for a position of trust that requires a security clearance, there are many potential indicators that must be considered when evaluating for insider threat concerns," he explained. "The department takes these variables into consideration based on past examples of personnel who engaged in spying or treasonous acts."

Several million people across the federal government have taken the training since it was released, Pickart said, and there has been only one complaint. He added that the next version of the security awareness training, to be released in October, is being updated so that its insider-threat test focuses more on behavior, "not personal characteristics or beliefs."

Notably, the CyberAwareness Challenge is given to a wide range of federal employees whose roles have far less to do with security threats than that of a National Security Agency contractor like Snowden. The Department of Housing and Urban Development even requires its private business partners accessing a tenant rental assistance database to complete the training.

The Defense Department version of the "CyberAwareness Challenge" shows a healthy familiarity with Manning's disclosures to WikiLeaks: In one training slide, the user is asked what to do when contacted by a reporter from "WikiSpills."

Identifying "WikiSpills," even hypothetically, as a legitimate journalist organization is quite different from how military prosecutors have approached the real WikiLeaks in the trial of Manning. There the military has suggested that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange took few steps to verify the leaks he received before publication and acted as a virtual co-conspirator with his source.

Steven Aftergood, an expert on government secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, said the DISA training slide was "ignorant and clumsy."

"The item 'speaks openly of unhappiness with U.S. foreign policy' simply does not belong on the list," Aftergood wrote in an email to HuffPost. "It is not a threat indicator. It could apply to most members of Congress, if not to most Americans. By presenting the matter this way, the slide suggests that overt dissent is a security concern. That is an error."

RW- This speaks more to the paranoid idiots in government who think they alone are loyal Americans then it does anything else. Actually no loyal American could possibly work for the federal government and long remain loyal to America. I'll bet you the profile for 'Samuel' includes a dozen trips to Israel which is probably assessed as 'very loyal'.
Suspend all belief. Get the facts ~ Rudi
No one rules if no one obeys ~ Lao Tzu

Offline Rudi Jan

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Pentagon considers employees unhappy with US policies a security threat
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2013, 09:01:42 AM »
Pentagon considers employees unhappy with US policies a security threat

Published time: August 08, 2013 16:34
source: http://rt.com/usa/pentagon-threat-insider-program-232/


The Pentagon building in Washington, DC. (AFP Photo)

The Pentagon is warning its employees to be on the look-out for colleagues who demonstrate an “unhappiness with US foreign policy,” visit family abroad and have financial problems – traits that classify someone as an “insider threat”.

Afraid that its federal employees could follow the footsteps of Army Private first class Bradley Manning, the Defense Department is taking long strides to find potential information leakers.  As part of its “Insider Threat” program, which requires government workers to monitor and spy on each other, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has required staffers to sit through an online presentation that outlines traits qualifying someone as a “high threat”.

DISA defines insider risks as “threats from people who have access to the organization’s information systems and may cause loss of physical inventory, data, and other security risks,”  the Huffington Post reports.


A screenshot from iase.disa.mil

To help federal employees identify “high risk” individuals, the DISA created a “CyberAwareness Challenge”, which was posted in Oct. 2012 – one month before the Insider Threat policy was completed. One section of the security challenge requires employees to identify the threat levels of hypothetical individuals that they may encounter in their offices.

An example of a “high threat” individual is an Indian woman named Hema, who travels to India twice a year to visit family and who “speaks openly of unhappiness with US foreign policy.” This woman demonstrates an “adequate work quality” and had her car repossessed while at work.

“Based on her statements, this employee demonstrates divided loyalty,” the program explains. “Paired with her financial difficulties and foreign travel, she is a high threat.”


A screenshot from iase.disa.mil

The training program encourages Pentagon staffers to “catch me if you can”, referring to individuals whose traits deem them more likely to leak sensitive information or put the country at risk.

Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Damien Pickart defended the program to the Huffington Post, arguing that it is valid “based on past examples of personnel who engaged in spying or treasonous acts.”

But Steven Aftergood, an expert on government secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, said the training was “ignorant and clumsy”, since it scrutinizes individuals simply for expressing their right to free speech about US foreign policy, which not everyone agrees with completely.


A screenshot from iase.disa.mil

"The item 'speaks openly of unhappiness with U.S. foreign policy' simply does not belong on the list," Aftergood said. "It is not a threat indicator. It could apply to most members of Congress, if not to most Americans. By presenting the matter this way, the slide suggests that overt dissent is a security concern. That is an error."

The Insider Threat program was first authorized in Oct. 2011, after Pfc. Bradley Manning sent classified information to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. Manning is currently facing a maximum prison sentence of 90 years for releasing hundreds of thousands of documents, including field reports and logs from the Afghan and Iraq wars.

In an attempt to prevent information leaks, the DISA’s Insider Threat program urges government workers to spy on each other, facing hefty penalties if they fail to alert their superiors of a potential security breach. Threat indicators include stress, relationship issues, financial problems, odd work hours and random traveling. And an Indian woman like Hema, who visits her family twice a year, couldn’t make her car payments, and disagrees with the Obama administration’s foreign policy, is considered an example of a “high threat” individual that the Pentagon considers a danger to the United States.


A screenshot from iase.disa.mil
Suspend all belief. Get the facts ~ Rudi
No one rules if no one obeys ~ Lao Tzu