The US intelligence agency’s WikiLeaks Task Force will assess the damage caused by the WikiLeaked cables
A task force has been assembled by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to look into the WikiLeaks scandal.
Whether humour was intended, the WikiLeaks Task Force has rather crude and unfortunate initials, but their mission is to see what damage Julian Assange’s organisation has done.
Informers May Be Discouraged By Leaks
Where there is concern is that information is routinely supplied to government officials and some of these have fallen into WikiLeaks’ hands. So far, nothing of real importance has emerged, but the CIA is worried that it may discourage informants from passing sensitive information to them.
The irony of this situation seems to be lost on the sizable panel which comprises agents from the CIA’s Counter-intelligence Centre and more than two dozen members from other departments.
The agency is particularly interested in what compromises it may face in the future because very little has been exposed on WikiLeaks so far about its operations. As the US secret service, the organisation is usually very careful with its information and its data is spread across secure servers around the world.
The obsession with security is so high that the CIA even refused to share some of its reports on the US Department of Defense’s network SIPRNet (Secret Internet Protocol Router Network). Though criticised for that decision at the time, the CIA seems to have been vindicated because the Wikileaks cables were downloaded from SIPRNet, allegedly by US Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning.
The Washington Post quotes an anonymous source who it claimed was a retired, former high-ranking officer in the CIA. He said, “[The agency] has not capitulated to this business of making everything available to outsiders. They don’t even make everything available to insiders – and, by and large, the system has worked.”
Even though CIA communications are labelled with the same “Secret” status as the WikiLeaked cables, the agency systems will send warnings to administrators whenever a large amount of data is downloaded. In addition, most of the CIA’s computers are not equipped with USB ports.
The details of the task force’s commission have not been disclosed but it is believed that they may also be helping to compile a dossier for the US government to decide if there are grounds to apply for his extradition to face US court proceedings.