In the wake of WikiLeaks’ disclosure of some 250,000 State Department cables, the Obama administration is ordering executive branch departments and agencies to review procedures for protecting classified information.
“The recent irresponsible disclosure by WikiLeaks has resulted in significant damage to our national security,” Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew wrote in a memo released this morning. “Any failure by agencies to safeguard classified information pursuant to relevant laws . . . is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
Effective immediately, all agencies that handle classified information must set up security assessment teams to review implementation of procedures for safeguarding such information from improper disclosures, Lew continued. Those reviews should make sure that users have no more access to classified government systems than is needed to do their jobs. The reviews should also examine restrictions on usage and “removable media capabilities.”
OMB, the National Archives’ Information Security Oversight Office and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence will assist agencies in reviewing their security practices, Lew wrote.