Pentagon Steps Up Efforts To Detect Moles

  on

The Pentagon has tightened procedures to sniff out insider threats at the Defense Department -- people who may be leaking information to foreign intelligence entities.

A May 4 Department of Defense notice established an information-sharing program to detect insider threats affecting top department officials. The instruction outlines responsibilities for U.S. intelligence agencies and officers to identify and bust efforts by foreign intelligence to recruit personnel.

The new guidelines were implemented as part of last year's defense spending bill that called for an insider threat detection program, according to the Federation of American Scientists, which reported the Defense Department instructions on Wednesday.

The defense spending provisions were included in last year's defense bill in the aftermath of WikiLeaks -- a defunct anti-government secrecy organization that Australian citizen Julian Assange founded -- publishing classified U.S. information.

If there is a reasonable belief that a clandestine relationship exists between a foreign intelligence agent and a department employee, procedures call for sending the details to military counterintelligence and the FBI.

Then, the information on any anomaly is sent to the Defense Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence Center, the focal point and central repository for leads on unknown subjects. Results from polygraph, or lie detector, tests related to insider threats will be shared throughout other agencies as well.

The Defense Department defines insider threat as anyone who uses their authorized access to harm national security interests or national security through unauthorized disclosure, data modification, espionage, terrorism or kinetic actions. Foreign intelligence entities, meanwhile, are defined as individuals or organizations working alone or on behalf of a government.

A Pentagon representative did not immediately return a request for comment.

Join the Discussion