August 7, 2013
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 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.
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.”
Full story here.