Bradley Manning Responsible For the Largest Intelligence Leak in the History of the United States Essay

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Bradley Manning Responsible For the Largest Intelligence Leak in the History of the United States

Bradley Manning Responsible For the Largest Intelligence Leak in the History of the United States (Your Name Here)

Bradley Manning may be responsible for the largest intelligence leak in the history of the United States . The U.S. Government alleges that Bradley Manning was responsible for leaking classified intelligence, causing it to be published on the internet which make it available to the enemy. The Government has charged Manning with 22 charges under the Uniformed Code of Military Justice, UCMJ, to include espionage. If convicted, Manning could face confinement for life or the death penalty . In an interview with Frontline, Adrian Lamo, a convicted hacker, states that Manning contacted him via online chat and confessed that he had leaked hundreds of documents to Julian Assange, the editor of a website called WikiLeaks. Type of Breach

Bradley Manning is an example of the most dangerous type of enemy, an insider. Insiders pose one of the greatest security threats. The main aspect that makes insiders such a potent threat is the amount of data they have access to . In an interview with Adrian Lamo, Manning boasted about the amount of information he leaked to WikiLeaks. He claimed to have leaked, “250,000 State Department diplomatic cables and 500,000 classified field reports from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan” . Being charged with espionage, Bradley Manning is one of the most dangerous types of insiders, because the information he leaked potentially put American lives in danger and caused harm to our nation.

Bradley Manning was not driven by the same motivation that drives most people who commit crimes such as the ones that Manning has been accused of. Manning was not motivated by financial gain. He claims that he leaked the information because the information needed to be in public view. He has expressed an extreme dislike for the US Army and the way the US Government conducts its self in the global arena. He claims that he could have sold this information to the Chinese or Russians, but instead chose to give it to WikiLeaks via Julian Assange . How the Breach Occurred

The question arises how Bradley Manning gained access to such a large quantity of intelligence. Since September 11, 2001, the 9/11 Commission has changed the way intelligence agencies handle information sharing. Agencies now share raw intelligence with each other, because it is believed that if that policy had been in place earlier then the tragedy on September 11 could have been avoided. Manning had access to the network know as the Secrete Internet Protocol Router Network, or SIPRNet. SIPRNet is where Manning downloaded most of the information he leaked. Manning was an intelligence analyst. His job was information aggregation. He would analyze large amounts of raw intelligence and form it into smaller, more concise reports . This is not what Manning leaked, he leaked raw intelligence.

Some of this raw intelligence was uploaded to WikiLeaks via the internet, however the majority of the data was downloaded onto compact disks. Manning recalls one instance to Lamo about downloading data to a disk labeled Lady Gaga. In an online communication with Lamo, Manning wrote, “No one had ever taken note of him, and no one did now: ‘everyone just sat at their workstations … watching music videos / car chases / buildings exploding … and writing more stuff to CD/DVD’”. In order to download large amounts of raw relevant data, Manning uploaded data mining software. This software allows one to sort or index files on a computer or network. Then a search for key words will select the information based on desired parameters .

Lamo suggests this implicates Julian Assange as a coconspirator in espionage with Manning. He claims that Assange gave Manning the parameters for the information that would be the most useful. If it can be proven that WikiLeaks coached or persuaded Manning to steal classified information then everyone involved can be charged with espionage. WikiLeaks operates under the unique model that all sources are unknown to them and the information they are given is unsolicited. If these two conditions are met, WikiLeaks is not guilty of collusion . The Information Security Triad

The primary point of damage to the Information Security Triad by Manning is Confidentiality. By downloading raw intelligence from SIPRNet Manning did not damage the integrity or the availability of the data. This would have been contrary to his goal. Manning planned to release the information. The information would have been useless if it had been altered or made unavailable, and this could have potentially made it easier for him to get caught. He never planned to get caught. Manning was arrested as a direct result of the online chat conversations he had with Lamo, not from the Army discovering what he had been up to. Technological Improvements that Would Help Prevent Recurrence

Some technological improvements that could have prevented Manning from stealing classified information would be to disable USB ports through the BIOS and password protect the BIOS. If computers had CD ROMs not burners then it would not be possible to download any information from a network onto a disk using Department of Defense, DOD, computers. It has not been clearly published how Manning was able to upload data mining software on his computer or on the SIPRNet. These points were brought up in a congressional hearing where Senator Collins brought up the point that the intelligence community was already required to have audit capabilities installed by 2007.

This could have helped expose the fact that more than a quarter of a million classified documents were downloaded in less than two months. Role-based access to secure systems is also another possible solution. This would mean that all information of a certain clearance level would not be accessible to everyone with that same clearance. Role-based access would be used in conjunction with the mandatory access control that is currently in place. This would have limited the amount of information that Manning would have had access to .

The extent of damage Bradley Manning has done to intelligence sharing or US operations overseas cannot be quantified. The effects are too far reaching and still ongoing. Bradley Manning is still being held in prison awaiting trial. Many are calling Manning a whistle-blower. Whistle blowers release specific information of an embarrassing, illegal or negligent nature to right some wrong. Manning potentially put American lives in danger by releasing vast amounts of data from unnamed sources. Manning was operating on the hacker premise that all information should be free. There are people that protect our freedom and rely on confidentiality of information to stay alive. Manning is not a whistle-blower or a hero as many online publications would suggest. He is a sad case of an individual given to much responsibility; we can only hope our intelligence community moves forward and not backward as a result of Bradley Manning’s actions.

Works Cited
Affairs, M. P. (2011, March 3). Manning faces more charges for classified leaks. Retrieved from The Official Home Page of the United States Army: Fishman, S. (2011, July 3). Bradley Manning’s Army of One How a lonely, five-foot-two, gender-questioning soldier became a WikiLeaks hero, a traitor to the U.S., and one of the most unusual revolutionaries in American history. Retrieved from New York News & Features: INFORMATION SHARING IN THE ERA OF WIKILEAKS: BALANCING SECURITY AND COLLABORATION, S. Hrg. 112-219 (ONE HUNDRED TWELFTH CONGRESS FIRST SESSION March 10, 2011). Retrieved from Lamo, A. (2011, May 24). WikiSecrets. Frontline. PBS. Retrieved from Miles, D. (2012, June 6). News American Forces Press Service. Retrieved from U.S. Department of Defense: Miller, B. H. (2011, September).

The Death of Secrecy: Need to Know…with. Studies in Intelligence, 55(3), 13-18. Retrieved from Pfleeger, C. P., & Pfleeger, S. L. (2006). Security in Computing (4th Edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ, USA: Prentice Hall PTR. Wendy, G. (2011, April). Aggregation: the hidden risk. Computer Fraud & Security, 2011(4), 18-20. Retrieved from Zetter, K. (2011, April 4). Army: Manning Snuck ‘Data-Mining’ Software Onto Secret Network. Retrieved from Wired:

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