NSA Mobilizes Against Leaks

The National Security Agency has instructed all of its employees to “actively” watch for unauthorized disclosures of classified information in the press and online, and to report such disclosures to the authorities.

“All NSA Components shall actively monitor media for the purpose of identifying unauthorized disclosures of classified NSA information,” a March 20 NSA directive stated.

“Media” here is defined as “any print, electronic, or broadcast outlet (including blogs) where information is made available to the general public.”

The new NSA policy on leaks was first reported by Siobhan Gorman in “NSA Strives to Plug Leaks,” Baltimore Sun, July 23, 2006.

An annex to the NSA directive lists a series of questions to be asked about unauthorized disclosures in order to assess their significance, including: “Is the disclosed information accurate?” Has the information been requested under the Freedom of Information Act? “If yes, identify the requester.”

In response to a FOIA request from the Federation of American Scientists earlier this month, the National Security Agency refused to release most of the new directive (pdf), which is marked “for official use only.”

But the full text was obtained independently by Secrecy News.

See “Reporting Unauthorized Media Disclosures of Classified NSA/CSS Information,” NSA/CSS Policy 1-27, 20 March 2006.

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