Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"U.S. Rethinks Access to Data"

I'm quoted in Keith Johnson's Wall Street Journal article, "U.S. Rethinks Access to Data." Here's the quote:
Another possibility for securing diplomatic communications that worries some former diplomats: Classifying more dispatches as top secret. That would route them through different networks with smaller audiences. None of the quarter-million cables WikiLeaks released were classified "top secret"; only 15,000 were classified "secret."

That would reverse a trend in recent years of seeking to classify only those data that really needed it. "Overclassification would be a total abuse of the system," said David Shinn, a 37-year State Department veteran and former ambassador.

In the wake of the leaks, State Department veterans also worry that U.S. diplomats will have a harder time getting information from local sources.

"My concern is the degree to which foreign interlocutors will be willing to share information," said Amb. Shinn. "We're probably going to have a less-open dialogue with them than would otherwise be the case."
Image credit: Flickr creative commons licensed photo by "Ninja M."

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