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
    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), 5 Jan 2011 @ 5:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: BETTER IDEA

    You didn't start this thread of debate, so I didn't feel the need to let you set you topic. But since you've clarified your misunderstanding and asked, here you are.

    Trust is too broad a word for this topic as we have at least two separate kinds being brought up. There's the personally held faith that politicians will act in our best interest and there's the act of placing them in a position of trust. The two need not coincide. In fact they should never coincide in anyone old enough to buy alcohol.

    Now I'm fine with placing people who I do not trust to act on my best interests in positions of trust because there is one thing I do trust about them. They will always look out for their own best interests. Specifically their interests in being reelected. That's usually enough to get them to at least act on my best interests when it's not too much trouble, gains them something, or they can't get out of it without risking their own interests. But it's not something I count on or expect. Explained enough?

    On the hostility and insults? Yeah, you probably didn't earn the last paragraph of my last post, so I'll take a mea culpa on it and claim it's been an extremely long day. The rest I'm fine with standing by.

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