Published July 10, 2013
An "insider threat" program launched by the Obama administration two years ago requires federal employees to spy on each other using profiling techniques not proven to work, according to a new report.
Details about the program, first reported by McClatchy, have gradually been made public in recent weeks. It was apparently ordered in 2011 in the wake of security leaks by Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, and urges federal workers and contractors to look out for "high-risk" behavior -- and to report it.
But McClatchy reported Wednesday that it urges workers to use questionable techniques. It encourages them to flag a range of possible behaviors and circumstances, from financial problems to odd hours to unusual travel, according to the report.
McClatchy noted studies have found that "behavioral surveillance" is not scientifically proven to work and could result in illegal profiling.
Details about the "insider threat" program have emerged as the administration grapples with a new series of leaks, from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Snowden has leaked details about phone and Internet surveillance programs, raising civil liberties concerns inside the U.S. and angering foreign governments.