Biden administration mulls expanding online surveillance after missing leak: Report

Antony Blinken, Lloyd Austin, Enrique Manalo
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, right, with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, center, and Philippines Secretary of Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo, left, speaks during a joint news at the State Department, Tuesday, April 11, 2023, in Washington. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Biden administration mulls expanding online surveillance after missing leak: Report

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The Biden administration is considering expanding its social media and chatroom monitoring protocols after classified documents were circulated online for weeks without notice, according to a report Wednesday.

President Joe Biden and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin were briefed about the drop of classified information last week, but the documents had already been floating online since early March, according to Bellingcat, an open-source investigative group. The president and his administration were upset when they learned how long ago the leak had occurred, according to a senior administration official.

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“Nobody is happy about this,” the unnamed official told NBC News.

The administration is now looking at expanding its list of online sites that intelligence agencies and law enforcement monitor, the official said.

The expansion is just one potential change to the monitoring officials could make in the aftermath of the national security scandal. The Pentagon is investigating the leak, as is the Department of Justice, and it has opened a criminal investigation.

Roughly 100 classified documents were leaked on social media platforms last month, including Discord. The released documents were not intended for public eyes and provided insights into the U.S. intelligence community’s reach and its willingness to possibly spy on its allies. However, the Department of Defense warned that some of the documents were doctored.

It is not known who is responsible for the leak nor how the leak occurred in the first place.

The leak comes after classified documents were found at the homes and offices of former President Donald Trump, Biden, and former Vice President Mike Pence, prompting more questions about how the U.S. intelligence community and government safeguard secrets.

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“We’ve now got two examples, you know, the potential mishandling of documents by current and former presidents and now this potential leak, or real leak,” Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) said.

“I think it does raise a question that in some cases we way overclassify. In other cases, we may … give out the documents to too many people. I think it’s time that Congress plays a role here in setting some parameters,” he added.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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