Measuring “Grumpiness” May Avert Another WikiLeaks
JANUARY 07, 2011
In the aftermath of the WikiLeaks scandal, the Obama Administration plans to implement strict security rules requiring government agencies to use psychiatrists and sociologists to measure “relative happiness as a means to gauge trustworthiness” in federal employees and “despondence and grumpiness as a means to gauge waning trustworthiness.”Furthermore, agencies are asked to “deter, detect, and defend against employee unauthorized disclosures” by gathering “early warning indicators of insider threats” and by considering “behavioral changes in cleared employees.” They are also asked to implement methods to capture the “pre-employment and/or post-employment” activities for federal workers.This rather innovative plan to stop further leaks of classified information has been laid out in a lengthy White House memorandum made public this week by aWashington D.C. think tank dedicated to national security issues. The rather comical memo, issued by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) with input from the intelligence community, also asks government agencies if employees are required to report their contacts with the media. For the record, most are not and the White House should know that.The idea is to prevent another embarrassing WikiLeaks fiasco, in which droves of classified U.S. government documents—mostly diplomatic cables—were published by an online group. Lawmakers from both parties condemned the leak for endangering all Americans. The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (John Kerry) actually called it a “reckless action which jeopardizes lives by exposing raw, contemporaneous intelligence” and the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee (Peter Hoesktra) labeled it a “massive” intelligence failure.The White House refers to the monstrous leak as a “mishandling of classified information” and asks all government agencies to assess what they’ve done or plan to do to address “any perceived vulnerabilities, weaknesses or gaps on automated systems in the post-WikiLeaks environment. The suggestion that measuring grumpiness could prevent another breach is probably a first for any administration.
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