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By Spencer Ackerman  
Danger Room
August 31, 2010

Tomorrow's WikiLeakers may have to be sneakier than just dumping 
military docs onto a Lady Gaga disc. The futurists at Darpa are working 
on a project that would make it harder for troops to funnel classified 
material to WikiLeaks -- or to foreign governments. And that means if 
you work for the military, get ready to have your web, email and other 
network usage monitored even more than it is now.

Darpa=E2=80=99s new project is called CINDER, for Cyber Insider Threat. It's 
lead by a legendary hacker-turned-Darpa-manager. CINDER may have 
preceded Pfc. Bradley Mannings' alleged disclosure of tens of thousands 
of documents about the Afghanistan war from Defense Department servers. 
But the idea is to find someone just like him. By hunting for poker-like 
"tells" in people=E2=80=99s use of Defense Department computer networks, Darpa 
hopes to find indications of indicate hostile intent or potential 
removal of sensitive data. "The goal of CINDER will be to greatly 
increase the accuracy, rate and speed with which insider threats are 
detected and impede the ability of adversaries to operate undetected 
within government and military interest networks," according to the 
defense geeks' request for contractor solicitations on the project.

That took on an increased urgency last month after WikiLeaks dropped 
77,000 Afghanistan field reports into the public domain. While Admiral 
Mike Mullen=E2=80=99s furious blood-on-its-hands reaction got all the press 
coverage, Defense Secretary Robert Gates' response appears to have been 
the more lasting one, policy-wise. Gates fretted that a casualty of 
WikiLeaks=E2=80=99 document dump would be the Defense Department's years-long 
initiative to push vital information down to the front lines, so lower 
ranking officers and enlisted men had the sort of high-level battlefield 
views that used to be the province of their commanders. All that=E2=80=99s been 
jeopardized by Manning, he said, the soldier accused of being WikiLeaks=E2=80=99 
inside man.

"We want those soldiers in a forward operating base to have all the 
information they possibly can have that impacts on their own security, 
but also being able to accomplish their mission," Gates mused in a July 
press conference. "Should we change the way we approach that, or do we 
continue to take the risk" of future leaks? Gates partially answered his 
own question -- however cryptically -- by adding, "There are some 
technological solutions," though "most of them are not immediately 
available to us."


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