DNI to clamp down on leaks by monitoring government employees’ communications

(WMR)—WMR previously reported (June 14) on Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper being livid over leaks to the media by suspected top White House officials of details of the CIA’s “kill list” in Yemen and the Stuxnet/Flame malicious computer programs used to target computer systems in Iran and various Arab countries. Flame, a computer espionage program that stole sensitive data, was developed jointly by the CIA and Israeli intelligence.

Clapper has responded to the leaks by issuing Intelligence Community Directive 700, titled “Protection of National Intelligence,” which orders that “all personnel with access to national intelligence . . . be continually evaluated and monitored.” Although the National Security Agency (NSA) has always had the authority to monitor government communications for communications security (COMSEC) purposes, Clapper’s new directive expands the NSA’s mandate to include senior administration officials, including, conceivably, President Obama, National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan, White House political adviser Valerie Jarrett, and others with access to classified intelligence.

Only the NSA has the ability to conduct “continual monitoring” of government personnel through the use of advanced surveillance systems that are based on voice signatures, a massive database of phone numbers and Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, key word and phrase search technology, inference engines, and other communications intelligence techniques.

Directive 700 was issued on June 7, shortly after details of Flame appeared in the media.

The new directive will have a further chilling effect on the provision of information on military and intelligence operations to member of the press by government sources. The Obama administration has indicted six former government employees under the 1917 Espionage Act for leaking classified information to the media. WMR has learned that indictments of other government personnel are now under consideration by the Justice Department. New York Times reporter James Risen is facing a subpoena to testify about his source or sources on the CIA’s Operation MERLIN, which sabotaged Iranian nuclear power program components.

Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.

Copyright © 2012 WayneMadenReport.com

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).

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