Governments and corporations are never happy with whistleblowers. This is due to the fact that whistleblowers tend to expose corruption to the public in which they are harming. This is why they are so eager to use programs, such as Raytheon’s SureView, to detect and catch a whistleblower before they can inform the public.
“SureView is designed to capture the next Bradley Manning,” Szedelo said of the Army private who uploaded hundreds of thousands of classified documents from the military’s secret Internet protocol router network (SIPRnet) onto a remote server affiliated with WikiLeaks.
With his secret clearance, Manning had access not only to the raw intelligence reports in Iraq, but also to aircraft videos, analysis from the field in Afghanistan, and candid diplomatic cables from U.S. embassies all over the world.
“Had SureView been on Bradley Manning’s machine, no one would know who Bradley Manning is today,” Szedelo said in an interview.
Yes, if SureView had been in place, we’d have never known of the numerous atrocities that have been committed. That’s what everyone is really worried about.
SureView is a type of auditing software that specializes in “behavior-based internal monitoring.” It is designed to identify and catch what is known in the counterintelligence trade as the “insider threat,” a trusted user who is willing to steal the secrets he or she is obliged to protect.
Trevor Timm, an activist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation who closely watches the legal issues raised by WikiLeaks, said: “The government has every right to secure their own networks, but if they want to really stop leaks, they need to stop classifying so much information that is not really secret.” Timm added: “The government classified a staggering 77 million documents last year, a 40 percent increase on the year before. And a recent report to Congress showed 4.2 million people have classified security clearances. That’s more than the city of Los Angeles. As long as the government won’t address this underlying problem, people will always find ways to leak, no matter the security.”
The problem is there are several ways around SureView. A person could memorize what they’ve seen and then tell someone else or write it down later. A person could take a camera and take pictures of the computer screen. A person could take a tape recorder or their cell phone and talk into it as they are reading what they see on the screen. There are always ways around these technologies, but we’re allowed to know about them so that it appears the government is doing something rather than nothing.