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Wikileaks Backlash Could Mean Less Data For Soldiers


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Iraq map

This map shows the kind of data supplied by the militarys classified Internet.

DARPA

The disclosure of 92,000 Afghanistan war documents by Wikileaks was made possible partly by a relatively recent effort by the military to get fresh intelligence data to frontline forces. The idea was that the information would better prepare the troops for ever-changing guerilla conditions in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said the breach probably will lead the Pentagon to limit the distribution of such material. Although that could help prevent future leaks, it could also restrict the flow of potentially lifesaving information to soldiers.

Prior to the release of the documents, access to the network for classified information, known as the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet), was quite loose. Soldiers would need a security clearance to log in. But once logged in, they might not have met any further controls—such as a brake on how many documents any individual could download. "Technical safeguards that are in place stateside were not necessarily implemented downrange," says John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, a defense and security think-tank.

From Technology Review
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