CIA Kept Yet Another Disclosure of Classified Government Data Secret

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Jul 14, 2017
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Edward Snowden and the latest Wikileaks dump may not have been all that the Central Intelligence Agency has had to worry about in the past decade. According to a report, a CIA employee disclosed classified government material to a contractor in 2009 – the leaked material has, however, never made it to the public according to current information. This is yet another incident where the agency couldn’t control what data (or access) was given to its contractors.

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First reported by BuzzFeed News, the security breach took place in 2009 and was detailed in a “heavily redacted” inspector general’s document on February 18, 2010. The publication obtained this document through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed two years ago. BuzzFeed reports that there was also a second agency employee involved in this security breach.

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The inspector general was tipped off on June 19, 2009, the report says. After launching an investigation, which involved interviews with four people and a review of CIA cables and contract information, the inspector general discovered that a second CIA employee was also involved, although the unredacted portions of the report do not explain how.

According to the report, the agency employees crossed out “classified” from the documents and marked them as “unclassified,” handing the disks to a contractor. The disks contained government source code, with the agency employee having the “original classification authority,” enabling her to declassify it. However, the contractor wasn’t cleared to see or receive the code. The CIA employee was “authorized to be in possession of the source code from [redacted] she was not authorized to use the source code,” the report said.

BuzzFeed added that the information about the source code or what it was used for remains classified. The inspector general’s report (shared below) claims that officials worked to “contain and eradicate the unsanctioned disclosure.” The document ends noting that the disks remain missing.

As the intelligence agency continues to reel from the release of sensitive and classified data disclosed through multiple sources, it is currently unclear if any of the leaked code ever made it to the public – through Wikileaks or any other source.

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