Title: Media Leaks - Part I (repost)

Release Date: 2016-08-10

Document Date: 2003-12-31

Description: (Repost) NSA refers to media leaks as “cryptologic insecurities.” This article lists several examples from 2000-2002 (from CBS News, “New York Times Daily News,” the Washington Times, and WorldNetDaily) along with damage assessments and follow-on actions, like reporting to the DOJ and requesting an FBI investigation.

Document: DYNAMIC PAGE -- HIGHEST POSSIBLE CLASSIFICATION IS
TOP SECRET // SI / TK // REL TO USA AUS CAN GBR NZL

(U) Media Leaks - Part I (repost)
FROM: SIGINT Communications
Run Date: 12/31/2003

(U//FOUO) Note: The two-part "Media Leaks" series ran originally on July 28 and 29.
(U) Have you ever watched television news and heard a report that started out something like
this: "Today, reliable sources revealed that U.S. intelligence has intercepted communications
indicating that..."? You may have thought to yourself, "How in the world is this information
getting out?" If so, you are not alone!
(U//FOUO) SID has a special office that tracks disclosures of this kind: the SID/Intelligence
Security Issues office (S02L3) . They are responsible for monitoring so-called Cryptologic
Insecurities (CI), which occur when "cryptologic material or information is put in jeopardy or
when sensitive information is disclosed through espionage or by unauthorized disclosure." Often,
this means media leaks.
(U) Media Leaks
(TS//SI) Let's take a look at some examples of damaging media leaks and the unfortunate
consequences:
-- (TS//SI) Media leaks from 2000-2002 disclosed that we were collecting SIGINT against
Usama bin Laden and al-Qaeda operatives:
(TS//SI) A CBS News report from September 2002 stated "The National Security Agency,
which monitors communications worldwide, intercepted a phone call from one of UBL's
operatives in Afghanistan to a phone number in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia,"
revealing NSA sources and methods as well as the extent of our capabilities against our
adversaries.
Damage assessment : al-Qaeda immediately employed improved security measures and
deceptive tactics to limit our SIGINT collection. Such disclosures prove time and time and
again that our adversaries initiate active Denial and Deception tactics to thwart our
capabilities.
Follow-on action : NSA's Office of General Counsel issued a formal report to the U.S.
Department of Justice of the unauthorized disclosure of COMINT information and
requested a follow-on FBI investigation. The unauthorized disclosure of COMINT
information represents a criminal violation and is subject to FBI investigation as such.
(TS//SI) A November 2002 New York Times Daily News article revealed specific
information regarding NSA geolocation capabilities during a very high-profile operation to
eliminate a known al-Qaeda terrorist operative.
Damage assessment : Such disclosures of NSA's role in these lethal operations hinder
NSA's capability to support the ongoing fight against global terrorism. The potential for
loss of lucrative source information increases astronomically.
(TS//SI) The Washington Times reported in October 2000 that SIGINT was targeting and
tracking terrorists suspected in the USS Cole bombing.
Damage assessment : Al-Qaeda initially heightened their security awareness and
practices, then in December 2001, the source went off the air, creating a significant
collection gap.
(U) ...but leaks are not limited to the topic of al-Qaeda:
-- (TS//SI) A December 2002 WorldNetDaily.com article, while it did not provide specific
classified information based on SIGINT product, did provide an accurate and unauthorized

disclosure of NSA's capabilities. Specifically, the article indicated that NSA had lost its ability to
collect information on activities in Iran, thus disclosing a collection gap on a high-priority target
for the United States. The article was released shortly after we lost collection of Iranian
Intelligence Service communications.
Damage assessment : Vulnerabilities in our abilities against a high-interest target were
revealed.
Follow-on action : NSA's Office of General Counsel issued a formal report to the U.S.
Department of Justice of the unauthorized disclosure of COMINT information and requested a
follow-on FBI investigation. The unauthorized disclosure of COMINT information represents a
criminal violation and is subject to FBI investigation as such.
(U//FOUO) Coming in part two of this article: What happens when CIs are discovered, and what
is your role?

"(U//FOUO) SIDtoday articles may not be republished or reposted outside NSANet
without the consent of S0121 (DL sid comms)."

DYNAMIC PAGE -- HIGHEST POSSIBLE CLASSIFICATION IS
TOP SECRET // SI / TK // REL TO USA AUS CAN GBR NZL
DERIVED FROM: NSA/CSSM 1-52, DATED 08 JAN 2007 DECLASSIFY ON: 20320108

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