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'Terrible' WikiLeaks scandal spurs massive US intelligence reform

Washington, Sat, 28 Jan 2012 ANI

Washington, Jan 28 (ANI): The WikiLeaks disclosure of hundreds of thousands of American documents was such a 'terrible event', that it spurred an overall change in the way the nation will handle its classified information, the man in charge of the US' intelligence gathering has said.


Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that America's intelligence community aims to use a new system that would be far more specific about what information can be accessed and by whom.


According to Clapper and several top intelligence officials, the new system is part of an effort to find an effective middle ground between the perceived intelligence sharing gaps from the pre-9/11 days and the resulting relatively unregulated over-sharing that led to the WikiLeaks document dumps.


"The goal, of course, is to find that Nirvana, that sweet spot, between the responsibility to share and the need to protect," ABC News quoted Clapper, as saying.


"If you can be sure that the information that you're sharing is actually going to an authorized recipient, that actually is an inducement to do more sharing," he added.


According to the report, Clapper described that the new system would employ detailed 'tagging' of each piece of intelligence as well as more specific restrictions as to who can access the information.


Clapper said the new system was already a "work in progress", but cautioned that information sharing between agencies continues to be a "serious challenge."


He said he also wanted to develop a "national insider threat policy" to combat the human side of the leaks, but declined to give details.


Anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, founded by Australian citizen Julian Assange, has published hundreds of thousands of sensitive documents from the US State Department and Pentagon.


An Army private, Bradley Manning, has been accused of being a principle source of the leaks. (ANI)


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