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US overhauls procedures to tighten access to classified information

July 19, 2013, 5:28 UTC+3
He also said systems administrators like Snowden must now work with a colleague, implementing a “two-man rule”
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Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

NEW YORK, July 19 (Itar-Tass) - The US authorities are overhauling procedures to tighten access to classified information to prevent leaks like the one carried out by former NSA systems administrator Edward Snowden, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said on Thursday.

"That failure originated from two practices that we need to reverse," he told a security forum. The first mistake is that "In an effort for those in the intelligence community to be able to share information with one another, there was an enormous amount of information concentrated in one place. ... It creates too much information in one place." The loading of everything onto a server creates a risk, Carter said.

He also said systems administrators like Snowden must now work with a colleague, implementing a “two-man rule”. "You had an individual who was given very substantial authority to access that information and move that information. That ought not to be the case, either."

Carter also said the US is still assessing the damage caused by Snowden, stressing that it is "very substantial".

Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, fled the United States and leaked classified NSA documents to the media. From the United States he headed for Hong Kong, and then flew to Moscow to then go to some other state that would grant him asylum. At the present time he is still in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport.

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