- The Washington Times - Friday, May 27, 2016

The Pentagon is reportedly creating a massive database to help officials ferret out future traitors within its ranks.

The 2010 leaks of classified diplomatic cables by former Pfc. Chelsea Manning served as a wake-up call for the U.S. government in terms of protecting intelligence in a digital world. The Department of Defense has responded with the “DoD Component Insider Threat Records System.”

A team of experts will soon glean reams of data on troops, defense contractors, civilian employees, and others with access to classified information. An “insider threat” record will then be constituted on potential turncoats using the experts’ knowledge in cybersecurity, privacy, law enforcement, intelligence and psychology, Defense One reported Monday.

“Adequate controls, training, and oversight are in place to ensure that personally identifiable information is protected and that only information which meets a pre-determined threshold is entered into the system,” Defense spokeswoman Linda Rojas recently told the information technology website Nextgov, Defense One reported.

The system, which will also monitor employees’ digital habits at work, will be activated after a public comment period ends June 20.

Michael German, a fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program, told Defense One that he was leery of the new system.

“Almost all of us at different periods of time, have been upset with the people we work with, and that is part of the human nature, so to identify that behavior as potentially troubling and indicative of being a, quote, insider threat is both inappropriate and likely to lead to errors,” the 16-year FBI veteran said. “They are definitely attempting to get whistleblowers and people who are reporting the truth in the face of government efforts to suppress that truth. The real threat are the people that they are not seeing.”

Mr. German cited Robert Hanssen, who spied for the Russian government while with the FBI between 1979 and 2001, as a example of an insider threat who avoided detection for decades.

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