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OMB gives Fed. Agencies Classified Security Pop Quiz in WikiLeaks’ Wake

OMB Director Jack Lew, Photo: omb.gov

The Office of Management and Budget is giving federal agencies a pop quiz about how it safeguards classified information and is giving them a month to complete it.

In a new memo published on its website, OMB is ordering agencies to review how it handles classified information.

The new memo, which emphasizes agency safeguards for automated systems, follows a previous memo by OMB head Jack Lew in late November.

The Nov. 28 memo, released in the immediate aftermath of the WikiLeaks disclosures, directed departments and agencies to review their safeguarding procedures for handling classified information.

Now, the new memo provides a laundry list of assessments agencies should perform, “with an emphasis on their application in automated systems,” according to the memo.

Agencies have until Jan. 28 to review their systems.

The roster of review items includes management and oversight, counterintelligence and protecting systems from employee misuse. The review also encompasses more than 100 questions agencies and departments must address.

The assessments are being conducted by the National Archives’ Information Security Oversight Office and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s National Counterintelligence Executive.

OMB’s security directives come in the wake of the latest WikiLeaks disclosures. The whistle-blower website published sensitive and, in some cases, embarrassing information from secret diplomatic cables in November 2010. The Army alleges that Pfc. Bradley Manning downloaded the material and leaked it to the website.

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