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Finally, the report recommends a series of steps to reduce the risks associated with “insider threats.” The group said these include modifications to both personnel vetting and to network security. It also recommends the institution of a work-related access approach to the dissemination of classified information and implementation of information rights management software.
We caught up with Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, to get his take on the report. He told us although the recommendations are broad, they accurately reflect the concerns of many in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations about the NSA and related security agencies. Still, he feels less than optimistic about massive reform given the level of power that intelligence agencies have in the federal government and the reality of how deeply embedded so many of these programs are.
“There have been revelations in the past about activities by agencies ranging from the FBI to the CIA and many others that resulted in what people hoped would be systemic changes that would reduce or eliminate surveillance,” King said. “But over tine the tendency toward this type of activity seems to have increased rather than decreased. It’s a good first step and I hope that elected officials can keep up the pressure on intelligence agencies and make some change in the behaviors.”