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Truth about computer security hysteria
Truth About Computer Security Hysteria

Rob Rosenberger

Stop leaking those idiotic classified cyber-terror reports!

Rob Rosenberger, Vmyths co-founder
Sunday, 23 January 2005

DID YOU EVER notice how easily reporters could lay their hands on top secret cyber-terror and cyber-war documents from the U.S. government?

Take journalist Barton Gellman, for example. He bragged about receiving classified FBI cyber-war briefings and reading classified CIA cyber-terror briefings. Los Angeles Times staffer Eric Lichtblau apparently obtained a classified CIA cyber-terror report. In perhaps the most blatant example, Frontline director/producer Michael Kirk somehow got White House flunky Richard Clarke to blab on-camera about a secret "Moonlight Maze" investigation even though he insisted he couldn't talk about it.

The Pen­ta­gon's #2 man or­dered every­one to stop leaking classi­fied docu­ments (e.g. cyber-terror and cyber-war reports) to the media.

Hi, I'm the new Washington correspondent for--
Here. Fill this out and get your editor to sign it.
What's this?
It's a request for a SIPRNET email account. Every reporter gets one.

Well, I've got good news for anyone who despises hysteria. It'll sound facetious when I say it, but — the media's lofty access to top secret cyber-terror and cyber-war information ended in mid-2003.

Vmyths used the U.S. Freedom of Information Act to obtain a letter (p1, p2) signed by Department of Defense Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. Titled "unauthorized disclosure of classified information," the Pentagon's #2 man ordered everyone in DoD to stop leaking classified information to reporters like Barton and Lichtblau and Kirk. The letter included a stern warning for all non-Pentagon federal employees, too:

[A directive from the Director of Central Intelligence] outlines an aggressive approach in developing a government-wide process to address the unauthorized disclosures of classified information that appear with increasing frequency in the media... Compromise of this critical information could threaten the lives of the men and women of our uniformed services, our co-workers and allies... Please do your part to ensure the integrity of all classified information, so that our warfighters can have confidence in their decisions.

Good! From now on I hope we only hear about the stuff reporters can obtain via an FOIA request. The U.S. will keep cyber-terror and cyber-war secrets to itself, and Vmyths will finally stop fighting the hysteria in all those idiotic documents.

(The last sentence was facetious.)