American Forces Press Service – President Barack Obama issued an executive order earlier this month that strengthens the government’s information and computer security policies and practices to prevent breaches such as the 2010 WikiLeaks episode.

The order follows an interagency committee review of existing policies and practices following WikiLeaks’ unlawful disclosure of classified information last summer, White House officials said.

The group posted more than 90,000 documents, many of which detailed classified and sensitive field reports regarding military operations.

Obama’s executive order cites efforts already taken to reduce the risk of future security breaches while providing a framework for enhancing national security through responsible sharing and safeguarding of classified information.

“The strategic imperative of our efforts has been to ensure that we provide adequate protections to our classified information while at the same time sharing the information with all who reasonably need it to do their jobs,” officials said.

The emphasis, they explained, is on balancing the requirements of responsible information sharing with safeguarding imperatives, while ensuring consistency across government and respecting the American people’s privacy, civil rights and civil liberties.

The executive order assigns agencies the primary responsibility for sharing and safeguarding classified information, consistent with appropriate protections for privacy and civil liberties.

Federal agencies that use classified networks are required to:

— Designate a senior official to oversee the agency’s classified information sharing and safeguarding;

— Implement a program to detect and prevent insider threats; and

— Conduct self-assessments of policy and standard compliance.

The executive order establishes several new bodies to develop, oversee and enforce these new security reforms.

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