WASHINGTON – A CIA spokesman on Sunday neither confirmed nor denied the accuracy of a newspaper story that suggests the advent of the Internet has helped blow identities of many of the agency's operatives.
"Cover is an issue we look at all the time and we are always looking to improve it," the spokesman told FOX News.
The Chicago Tribune reported in Sunday editions that in the age of the Internet, it has become increasingly difficult to shield undercover CIA agents from having their covers blown. Anyone who qualifies for a subscription to one of the online services that compile public information can learn the names, addresses and even some assignments of clandestine employees of the agency, the paper reported.
CIA Director Porter Goss is reportedly "horrified" about what appears to be a serious matter of security for CIA agents. Agency spokeswoman Jennifer Dyck is quoted in the paper as saying: "Cover is a complex issue that is more complex in the Internet age. ... There are things that worked previously that no longer work."
Dyck adds that Goss is committed to modernizing the way the agency creates covers in order to protect officers who are in dangerous assignments. Among the broader issues with this revelation is how the Bush administration can shield covert operations and agents in an age when a simple search can reveal a name and other information about a person or organization operating for the United States.
FOX News' Kelly Wright contributed to this report.