Intelligence community ready to get tough on leaks

On June 7, James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, who oversees 16 agencies, including the CIA, FBI and NSA, signed the “Intelligence Community Directive 700.”

What’s significant about the four-page document is that it urges counter-intelligence officers—the highly-skilled guys normally in charge of finding enemy moles—to collaborate on leak investigations, an area traditionally outside the purview of spy-catchers. Leaks have been handled by the security division, people at the CIA who are lower on the totem pole and do things like administer lie-detector tests and conduct background investigations on new employees. Investigations rarely resulted in prosecutions, in part because the FBI is reluctant to subpoena reporters. The switch reflects a renewed focus on getting to the bottom of how leaks happen—and, in theory, how they can be prevented…

The directive also says that all people with access to classified information–a figure that is more than 1 million, including contractors–should be “continually evaluated and monitored.” In recent years new technology has come on line that can better track suspicious activity by users of classified material.