Verfasst von: Dr. Who | 16.4.14

807 | USA: Bedrohung durch Geheimprogramme – Interne Überwachung

by Ekaterina Blinova

Two and a half years have passed since the US government unveiled an insider threat program, but the FBI officials are keeping silence about the details of this policy. US Senator deems that the program poses a significant threat to whistleblowers.

According to US Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) the interagency Insider Threat Task Forcewas organized in 2012"for deterring, detecting and mitigating"future potential risks and"was intended to train federal employees to watch out for insider threats among their colleagues." However, some media outlets suggested that"that this program might not do enough to distinguish between true insider threats and legitimate whistleblowers,"the Senator said.

It should be noted that a year ago McClatchy News reported on the program, calling the initiative into question:"Even before a former US intelligence contractor exposed the secret collection of Americans’ phone records, the Obama administration was pressing a government-wide crackdown on security threats that requires federal employees to keep closer tabs on their co-workers and exhorts managers to punish those who fail to report their suspicions."

Grassley said that he made a request to the Department of Justice for the details of the insider threat policy, but although he had been waiting patiently for several months for the answer, FBI officials kept silence. Moreover, the officials in charge snuck out of the Senate in the middle of the highly anticipated April hearing, the Senator stressed.

"Unfortunately, neither my staff nor Chairman Leahy’s staff were able to learn more, because only about ten minutes into the briefing, the FBI abruptly walked out,"Grassley said."FBI officials simply refused to discuss any whistleblower implications in its Insider Threat Program and left the room. These are clearly not the actions of an agency that is genuinely open to whistleblowers or whistleblower protection."

However, the director of the Insider Threat Program tried to reassure Sen. Grassley that federal whistleblowers could speak about alleged government’s crimes without any fear: they wouldn’t be treated as an insider threat or as infamous Chelsea (Bradley) Manning, who is serving a long-term prison sentence for publishing sensitive state secrets.

According to Grassley the head of the Insider Threat Program said that "whistleblowers had to register in order to be protected, and the Insider Threat Program would know to just avoid those people."

"Now I have never heard of whistleblowers being required to ‘register’ in order to be protected," Grassley said during the most recent Senate hearing. "The idea of such a requirement should be pretty alarming to all Americans. Sometimes confidentiality is the best protection a whistleblower has."

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