The U.S. Is Building a Database to Identify Potential Whistleblowers
According to a report by Think Progress, the U.S. military is building a data analysis system to track down government employees and contractors who may leak state secrets.
The “[Department of Defense] Component Insider Threat Records System” is part of the military’s response to classified documents leaked by former PFC Chelsea Manning in 2010, which revealed U.S. military practices including civilian deaths and physical abuse of detainees during the Iraq War.
As a junior Army intelligence analyst with a top-secret security clearance, Manning had access to a classified computer system and downloaded more than 700,000 documents in what has been considered the largest breach in military history.
Following Manning’s 2013 conviction and the shooting attacks at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., the Defense Department took steps to prevent the next leak by creating a “centralized hub” for detecting potential internal threats, Defense One reported. DOD assembled experts in psychology, cybersecurity, and intelligence to lead an “insider threat” task force and oversee the security clearance database.
The database is continually updated with information on security-clearance holders’ criminal and mental health history, financial information, drug and alcohol use, citizenship status, fingerprints, and other available biometric data. The system also keeps track of the clearance holder’s past residences and personal identifying and contact information for current and former spouses, relatives, associates, and roommates. This information is typically revealed during the background check process.
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—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.Wait, before you go…
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