White House tightens computer security

Oct. 7, 2011 at 11:34 AM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- The White House has issued an executive order revamping computer security policies to prevent classified documents from being linked to the Internet.

"Our nation's security requires information to be shared immediately with authorized users around the world but also requires sophisticated and vigilant means to ensure it is shared securely," President Barack Obama said in an executive order released Friday. "Computer networks have individual and common vulnerabilities that require coordinated decisions on risk-management."

White House officials said an interagency committee was formed last year after the disclosure of classified documents by WikiLeaks. The committee was asked to review policies and practices covering the handling of classified documents and recommend ways to reduce the risk of a future breach.

The executive order directs structural reform to protect classified information while sharing the information with those who need it to do their jobs.

Federal agencies will be responsible for ensuring classified documents are safeguarded in a way that is "consistent with appropriate protections for privacy and civil liberties," the order said.

The agencies, which will designate a senior official to oversee classified information-sharing and safeguarding, will implement an insider-threat detection and prevention program and perform self assessments of compliance with policy and standards.

The White House said a steering committee will have overall responsibility for coordinating interagency efforts.

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