Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, announced that he was mandating a question related to “unauthorized disclosure of classified information” be added to the counter-intelligence polygraph given out to employees at agencies which include the Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, Department of Energy, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Security Agency and others.
Clapper said: “It is my sincere hope that others across the government will follow our lead. The question that the CIA uses is going to be adjusted to speak specifically to members of the press, members of the media, and that question is going to be expanded to the counterintelligence polygraph programs across the intelligence community.”
The CIA has been the only intelligence agency to asks about unauthorized disclosures of classified information on the polygraph test given to prospective employees before employment commences, but the question does not specifically ask about the recipient of the leak.
Intelligence agency employees are required to take a lie-detector test (in effect, a voice recorder with built-in analysing equipment to detect tiny telling changes) when they first join, and when they renew their security clearance every seven years.
The proposed change will allow the new question to be used at any time to determine whether an employee had disclosed secret information to the media.
In addition to the “counterintelligence polygraph,” spy agency employees who have access to the most sensitive material are required to take a much more thorough lie-detector test often referred to as the ‘lifestyles polygraph’ which is a more in-depth test utilising the same ‘voice recorder with analysis‘ equipment.
The U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, has appointed two federal prosecutors to investigate suspected leaks of classified information. The investigations will examine the origins of media reports about the foiling of a plot by Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to attack an airliner using a newly designed underwear bomb and alleged cyber activities against Iran.
Clapper’s office is conducting a separate internal review within the intelligence agencies to determine if any leaks occurred under his watch.