Wikileaks effect: US military bans use of removable media, warns personnel of 'court martial'

 @ibtimes on December 10 2010 8:46 AM
US Army bans removable media, warns personnel of 'court martial'
A U.S. Military Academy band leader in New York November 20, 2010. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The assault of Wikileaks forced US military to ban the usage of CDs, DVDs and USB flash drives on its internal network, SIPRNET, reports suggest. The latest move is likely to force Pentagon to revert to using a rather conventional data-transfer medium. Memos sent out earlier this week by the defense department also warn of court martial to military personnel found in violation of the order.

Wired.com's 'Danger Room' quoted a leaked internal memo of the military as saying, Unauthorized data transfers routinely occur on classified networks using removable media and are a method the insider threat uses to exploit classified information. To mitigate the activity, all Air Force organizations must immediately suspend all SIPRNET data transfer activities on removable media.

The memo also maintained that the use of removable media on all systems, servers and stand alone machines residing on SIPRNET must be immediately ceased.

Officials admitted that the move is likely to complicate data transfer at the work stations but the military is pressing on stringent measures against those who are found in violation of the ban. Military personnel are likely to be slapped with Article 92 of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice which stipulates that violators 'shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.'

Pvt. Bradley Manning, who is suspected to be the man behind leaking over 90,000 secret military documents to whistleblower website WikiLeaks, reportedly used a CD to smuggle the files. Enlisted in the Army in 2007, manning was working as an Army intelligence analyst, studying classified information regularly. He reportedly carried music CD-RW labeled 'Lady Gaga' to his work place where the music from the discs was erased and secret intelligence reports were copied on to them. 

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