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After leak, Pentagon purges some users’ access to classified programs, launches security review

Breaking Defense: “As the Department of Justice continues investigating the breadth of the Discord leak, the Pentagon has launched a review of its security policies and procedures and is paring back just who has access to highly classified information, a Pentagon spokeswoman announced today. Late last week, a 21-year-old member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard was arrested and charged with two counts related to the unauthorized handling of classified materials in relation to a deluge of classified documents that circulated online for months unnoticed. Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh referred reporters today over to the DOJ for all questions related to that investigation but said top Department of Defense leaders continue to receive briefings and are taking some initial steps designed to better protect classified material.  For example, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has directed the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security, in coordination with the Chief Information Officer and the Director of Administration and Management, to lead a “comprehensive review of DOD security programs, policies and procedures.” “Within 45 days, [the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security] will provide [Austin] with initial findings and recommendations to improve the department’s policies and procedures related to the protection of classified information,” Singh said.  That review is designed, in part, to review who has access to “sensitive information” across the DoD and in other agencies.  “It’s not just the Department of Defense who has [a stake] in some of these unauthorized disclosures of docs that were posted online. There are other agencies that were impacted, our allies and partners as well,” she told reporters.  More immediately, though, the Pentagon is combing through distribution lists of people able to access and print classified material to determine if they should have that level of access…”

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