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FBI reviewing IT security
From: William Knowles <wk () c4i org>
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 19:59:36 -0500 (CDT)
BY Christopher J. Dorobek
June 21, 2001
The FBIs information technology security practices are part of an
internal review of the bureaus counterespionage efforts, said former
FBI director William Webster, who is leading that review.
Attorney General John Ashcroft specifically requested that the review
cover IT security, Webster said during testimony before the Senate
Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
Webster said the review is looking at:
* The adequacy of the FBIs protection of computer and
* The bureaus audit trail capabilities examining the FBIs ability to
track who has access to what information.
* The FBIs implementation of automated tripwire detection systems,
which are used to notify officials when somebody is looking at
information unrelated to their work.
Webster was brought in by FBI Director Louis Freeh, who steps down
this week, in the wake of the arrest of Robert Hanssen, a veteran FBI
counterintelligence agent who was arrested in February on charges of
spying for the Russians for 15 years.
Mark Tanner, the FBIs information resource manager, last month said
that the bureau is looking at its computer security policies and
practices in conjunction with the Webster study.
There is no indication that Hanssen took advantage of holes in IT
security policies or procedures, Tanner said. Instead the review is
part of an overall effort to enhance security at the bureau, he said.
Freeh appointed Webster to lead a commission that will make
recommendations about what steps the FBI should take to prevent
Beyond the bureaus information system security, Webster said his team
is also looking at personnel security, document security and
Webster was part of the Senate Judiciary Committees panel of officials
who have investigated FBI problems over the years. The committee has
stepped up its oversight of the FBI since the Democrats took over the
leadership of the Senate. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)
said the Senate has been remiss for failing to monitor the bureau more
"Communications without intelligence is noise; Intelligence
without communications is irrelevant." Gen Alfred. M. Gray, USMC
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- FBI reviewing IT security William Knowles (Jun 22)