[ISN] Government to Scrub 'Sensitive' Web Information

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Fri Mar 22 2002 - 00:02:27 PST

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    Government to Scrub 'Sensitive' Web Information 
    Thu Mar 21,12:43 PM ET 
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. government agencies have been ordered to
    clear their Web sites of sensitive information about weapons of mass
    destruction that could be exploited by would-be terrorists, according
    to memos released on Thursday. 
    White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card requested an "immediate
    re-examination" of all public documents that critics said could
    result in the government withdrawing thousands of papers, records and
    reports that have been available for years. 
    "Government information, regardless of its age, that could reasonably
    be expected to assist in the development or use of weapons of mass
    destruction ... should not be disclosed inappropriately," Card wrote.
    The heads of all agencies and executive departments "have an
    obligation to safeguard government records regarding weapons of mass
    destruction," the memo said. It gave them 90 days to report their
    findings to Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge. 
    White House spokesman Ari Fleischer (news - web sites) defended the
    move in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, calling it "balanced
    and principled." He said agencies would have to be even more careful
    now and expressed hope that the private sector would follow suit. 
    "The downside of the Internet is that the same information can be
    viewed by would-be terrorists or states," he told reporters, adding
    that some details about "making better explosives and poisoning
    water" already had been removed. 
    In addition to documents on weapons of mass destruction, the review
    includes "sensitive but unclassified information" that "could be
    misused to harm the security of our nation and the safety of our
    An accompanying memo from the acting director of information security
    oversight, Laura Kimberly, told agencies and departments to classify
    information regardless of age that "could reasonably be expected to
    assist in the development or use of weapons of mass destruction." 
    It recommends even declassified information that is sensitive be
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