‘Emptywheel’ (Marcy Wheeler) has an interesting post up, joining the dots between Thomas Drake, the former NSA employee facing espionage charges and the WikiLeaks cable leak. Drake, the subject of a great piece in this week’s New Yorker which Glenn Greenwald calls this month’s must-read, claims he is being prosecuted because he is a whistleblower who documented government waste and domestic surveillance. The key point is that he may have blown the whistle on lax security that led to the cables being leaked.
The Drake indictment claims that Thomas Drake served as a source for “many” of the Siobhan Gorman articles she wrote about NSA between February 27, 2006 and November 28, 2007.
Thereafter, between on or about February 27, 2006 and on or about November 28, 2007, Reporter A published a series of newspaper articles about NSA, including articles that contained SIGINT information. Defendant DRAKE served as a source for many of these newspaper articles, including articles that contained SIGINT information.
One of her articles from that period, published July 2, 2006, describes how the delay in implementing a new encryption management system for NSA and DOD computers exposed those networks to hackers.
A National Security Agency program to protect secrets at the Defense Department and intelligence and other agencies is seven years behind schedule, triggering concerns that the data will be increasingly vulnerable to theft, according to intelligence officials and unclassified internal NSA documents obtained by The Sun.
Encryption, which is an electronic lock, is among the most important of security tools, scrambling sensitive information so that it can ride securely in communications over the Internet or phone lines, and requiring a key to decipher.
Powerful encryption is necessary for protecting information that is beamed from soldiers on the battlefield or that guards data in computers at the NSA’s Fort Meade headquarters.
Read the whole thing here.