'Too much cyber security' at CIA

Thursday, 29 May 2003, 1:08 PM EST

While other government agencies struggle with their cyber security practices, the Central Intelligence Agency apparently suffers from the opposite problem: too much security -- according to a recent study of the agency's use of information technology.

In an unclassified report titled "Failing to Keep Up With the Information Revolution," former CIA officer Bruce Berkowitz -- now a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution -- found that the agency's intelligence analysts were hobbled by outdated software and cut off from many of the technological advances that workers outside the intelligence community take for granted.

Agency e-mail systems are clumsy, and the CIA's search engine is so "primitive" that analysts maintain informal networks of personal contacts within the agency just to track down the information they need to do their job. "A good analyst either knows someone, or 'knows someone who knows someone,' at another office or organization who can get the information they need," wrote Berkowitz.

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