Pentagon to monitor news media for national security leaks

The Pentagon is taking steps to clamp down on leaks of classified information in response to recent events, such as revelations of the US role in developing the Stuxnet worm.

Pentagon chief Leon Panetta has order the Pentagon’s top intelligence officials to monitor news media for unauthorized disclosure of national security secrets. Panetta reaffirmed that the Pentagon’s public affairs office is the sole source of defense information provide to the news media.

Other recent Pentagon measures include improved training on handling and protecting classified information, issuance of new guidance on the protection of classified information, improvement of security on classified computer networks, implementation of President Obama’s Executive Order establishing an insider threat task force, and mandating use of a department wide incident report system to track unauthorized disclosures

“The unauthorized disclosure of classified information jeopardizes national security and is a violation of department regulation, policy, and, in certain cases, a criminal act that should be prosecuted” George Little, the Pentagon press secretary, said in a statement.

“The new actions directed by Secretary Panetta...in addition to the many steps taken by department personnel in recent months, are aimed at ensuring that the department upholds the important requirement to safeguard America’s national security secrets”, he added.

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