The director of the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center says the recent release of classified U.S. government documents on the WikiLeaks Internet website might affect information sharing, but that it will not significantly affect counterterrorism efforts. Information about those efforts is among the most sensitive for the U.S. government and is not widely circulated.
Counterterrorism Center chief Michael Leiter said the WikiLeaks revelations have sparked reevaluations of what information is shared among U.S. government agencies and officials.
"It has certainly driven individuals in the intelligence community and beyond the intelligence community to at least reexamine information sharing and ensure that we are still getting the right information to the right people," Leiter said. "But we are not getting excess information to the people who really don't need it."
Leiter said his agency is very protective of the information it receives. He added that the most information regarding counterterrorism is shared with a limited number of federal agencies.
"I am actually relatively comfortable with the way information is being shared and adequately protected within the counterterrorism community today," Leiter said. "I think we have standards and processes to segment how information is moved - who sees that and, in part, that is the NCTC's role - that although we see all of the information, we do not send all of that information right back out. And one of the reasons we do not send all of that information right back out is because of the counterintelligence risks that that would pose."
U.S. officials say the documents published byWikiLeaks were allegedly given to the website by a U.S. Army soldier who, despite his low rank, was able to access large amounts of classified information.