Wikileaks fallout: State Dep’t disconnects from SIPRNet, damaging intel sharing

Clinton’s undersecretary for management, Patrick Kennedy, had a simple suggestion: pull the plug on SIPRNet, the classified DoD network that PFC Bradley Manning reportedly used to download the cables from State’s inhouse classified database. “The White House said do it,” says a senior administration official.

The publication by WikiLeaks of more than 250,000 diplomatic cables, many of them classified, is forcing an administration-wide intelligence retrenchment as agencies reconsider how to balance the need to share with the need to know. With its third major dump of controversial classified information in nine months, WikiLeaks is single-handedly tipping the balance back towards inter-agency “stovepiping”, or walling off information from other departments…

DoD is not completely cut off from State’s database. A separate system for the transmission of top secret information, the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System or JWICS, is still linked to the NCD. And State may reconnect SIPRNet in the future. “Once DoD has gone through and made its corrections on SIPRNet we’ll reevaluate whether to reconnect,” the senior administration official says.