US Gov't Strategy To Prevent Leaks Is Leaked

from the not-quite-getting-it-yet dept

There's something rather ironic that the US government's document on how to get various US government agencies to prevent future leaks (a la Wikileaks) was quickly leaked to the press. But, it's not really that surprising, is it?

Of course, the main thrust of the document isn't to question whether or not so much secrecy is really necessary, but to send out a memo to various government agencies suggesting they use psychiatrists and sociologists to sniff out workers who might be disgruntled (full memo embedded below). Among a variety of (pretty unsurprising) suggestions for keeping confidential information confidential, the checklist of things that organizations are supposed to do includes:
  • Do you use psychiatrist and sociologist to measure:
    • Relative happiness as a means to gauge trustworthiness?
    • Despondence and grumpiness as a means to gauge waning trustworthiness?
I didn't realize that you needed to use such professional help to figure out if you had a disgruntled worker on your hands. Isn't it the role of managers themselves to have a sense as to whether or not their employees are disgruntled? Though, I'm somewhat amused by the idea that the US government thinks that a psychiatrist or sociologist can accurately pick out who's likely to leak documents.

Not that it's a bad thing to try to figure out if there are disgruntled workers or to make sure secure systems really are secure. I'm all for that. I just think it's a bit naive to think any of this will actually prevent future leaks. You just need one person to get the info out, and there's always someone and always a way to do so -- as demonstrated by the fact that this document itself "leaked" so quickly. It seems a better situation would be to focus on making sure that any damage from such leaks is minimal.

Filed Under: disgruntled workers, leaks, strategy, us government


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  1. icon
    Jay (profile), 5 Jan 2011 @ 10:27am

    Hmm...

    Don't the psychologists and sociologists have enough problems?

    At stake in the fight between Frances and the APA is more than professional turf, more than careers and reputations, more than the $6.5 million in sales that the DSM averages each year. The book is the basis of psychiatrists’ authority to pronounce upon our mental health, to command health care dollars from insurance companies for treatment and from government agencies for research. It is as important to psychiatrists as the Constitution is to the US government or the Bible is to Christians. Outside the profession, too, the DSM rules, serving as the authoritative text for psychologists, social workers, and other mental health workers; it is invoked by lawyers in arguing over the culpability of criminal defendants and by parents seeking school services for their children. If, as Frances warns, the new volume is an “absolute disaster,” it could cause a seismic shift in the way mental health care is practiced in this country. It could cause the APA to lose its franchise on our psychic suffering, the naming rights to our pain.

    Good article, but it seems the battle over the DSM-V may keep them busy in the next two years while mental disorders are "diagnosed".

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