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. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2011 @ 8:25am

    Be weary of the Cannary Trap.

    In the Cannary Trap inflammatory statements are purposely made so that they are publically quoted. Each person the document uses a different set of inflammatory statements and/or each statement used different words. Thus magically when the inflammatory statement is quoted the source is revealed.

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