CIA Concludes Investigation of Inappropriate Use of Computer Systems
The CIA has completed its investigation of inappropriate use of Agency computer systems by a group of CIA employees and contractors, and administrative action has been taken in a number of instances.
This inappropriate use of computer systems had been taking place for some time, involving the use of unauthorized "chat rooms" and databases in a willful misuse of the Agency’s computer networks.
It is important to note that the investigation uncovered no information involving the unauthorized disclosure of classified information. But the activities that were the subject of this inquiry were a clear and serious violation of the trust expected of all Agency employees.
Four employees, including one Senior Intelligence Service (SIS) officer, have had their security clearances revoked, rendering them ineligible for continued CIA employment. Eighteen employees, including two SIS officers, were issued letters of reprimand and most of them will be suspended without pay for periods ranging from 5 to 45 days. The SIS officers were also downgraded one grade.
In addition, the security clearances of nine contractors were revoked.
The activities under investigation began in the mid-1980s as an unofficial user’s group on the CIA’s mainframe system. Over the years, as the Agency migrated to new information systems, the hidden databases were moved to take advantage of these new systems. Concealed databases were created outside of established management and security procedures. Approximately 160 individuals at one time or another were involved. Some had retired or otherwise left the Agency at the time of the commencement of the security investigation. In addition to the disciplinary actions noted above, 79 employees, with minimal involvement, received letters of warning or security briefings. Eight employees were exonerated and no action taken.