During her testimony at the Senate Armed Services Committee, DNI Avril Haines conveyed a sense of deep disappointment and frustration regarding the recent leaks of classified information by a Massachusetts Air National Guard member. She expressed her concern for the personnel of the intelligence community, who put in tremendous effort, dedication, and expertise to create high-quality intelligence products.
“And the damage that it does to our national security is just unacceptable on every level, obviously,” added Haines, who manages the 18 federal agencies that conduct intelligence operations from her post at the White House.
Who is Behind the Leak
Airman Jack Teixiera, 21, is suspected of leaking private military information with Discord users, including battlefield evaluations from the Ukraine. According to the Justice Department, he gathered vast amounts of material using his top-secret classification. Teixiera was detained on April 14 and is accused of violating the Espionage Act.
Every time such a thing happens, according to Committee Chairman Jack Reed (D-R.I.), they implement measures like keystroke recording and more stringent restrictions, yet issues persist. According to Haines, organizations are working to implement the best “user activity monitoring” and other strategies while reassessing rules like user rights.
Because the organization is still receiving data from the investigation on what specifically occurred, what I am able to provide you at this time is merely an interim response, said Haines. And upon realizing that, it goes without saying that you can claim with more assurance that what you’re doing will make a difference in preventing this from happening again, she also added.
The Pentagon is still seeking to completely integrate zero-trust technology, which requires users to verify themselves in order to enter various levels and networks that assume that inappropriate activity is already occurring.
Zero trust “would have made it a lot more likely” that the Discord leaker would have been discovered earlier, according to Department of Defense CIO John Sherman on Wednesday.