Obama’s ‘Insider Threat’ policy equates whistleblowers, spies, and terrorists

Steven Aftergood writes: A national policy on “insider threats” was developed by the Obama Administration in order to protect against actions by government employees who would harm the security of the nation. But under the rubric of insider threats, the policy subsumes the seemingly disparate acts of spies, terrorists, and those who leak classified information.

The insider threat is defined as “the threat that an insider will use his/her authorized access, wittingly or unwittingly, to do harm to the security of the United States. This threat can include damage to the United States through espionage, terrorism, [or] unauthorized disclosure of national security information,” according to the newly disclosed National Insider Threat Policy, issued in November 2012.

One of the implications of aggregating spies, terrorists and leakers in a single category is that the nation’s spy-hunters and counterterrorism specialists can now be trained upon those who are suspected of leaking classified information.

The National Insider Threat Policy directs agencies to “leverag[e] counterintelligence (CI), security, information assurance, and other relevant functions and resources to identify and counter the insider threat.”

“Agency heads shall ensure personnel assigned to the insider threat program are fully trained in… counterintelligence and security fundamentals….”

Agency heads are directed to grant insider threat program personnel access to “all relevant databases and files” needed to identify, analyze, and resolve insider threat matters.

The National Insider Threat Policy was developed by the Insider Threat Task Force that was established in 2011 by executive order 13587. The Policy document itself was issued by the White House via Presidential Memorandum on November 21, 2012 but it was not publicly released until last week. [Continue reading…]

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2 thoughts on “Obama’s ‘Insider Threat’ policy equates whistleblowers, spies, and terrorists

  1. Norman

    There you have it folks, the “O” administration made the snooping on the American public legal whit the stroke of his pen. The added insult to the public is his insistence that government employees fink on each other too. Now, wouldn’t that be classified as whistle-blowing, or doesn’t that count?

  2. hquain

    What’s really hard to see is a way back from this ratcheting process. Does anyone seriously believe that some liberal savior is grooming a white stallion off-screen, ready to clatter into view for 2016?

    I’m not convinced that Obama-the-person does much more than sign off on the products of an internal dynamic in the security apparatus. But this is no comfort. And there appears to be no counter-dynamic.

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