November 20, 2013 at 10:16 PM
The U.S. Army plans to monitor the online behavior of its employees with tracking software that will be woven into Army Network 2020, an in-house computer network set to launch in seven years.
The network, which aims to catch anyone who might download and distribute classified documents, comes after former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked information revealing that the agency collects data on everyone from average American citizens to world leaders. The order for a tracking system dates back to last November, when U.S. President Barack Obama issued a memo that describes programs meant to “deter, detect and mitigate actions by employees who may represent a threat to national security.”
The network will use “behavior-based analytics” to monitor the activity of soldiers, according to National Defense Magazine, citing Maj. Gen. Alan Lynn. In particular, the army plans to target employees who have just started or are about to leave their job, as they are seen as most likely to leak information. The system will be able to detect a range of behaviors, including how many emails someone sends per day, and the amount of information that person downloads.
“Outside of simply saying that the Army intelligence community is complying with executive orders and directives that call for network auditing, the details of those efforts are not releasable,” Matthew Bourke, a spokesperson for the U.S. Army, told Mashable in an email.
Although Bourke declined to answer questions about the extent of the monitoring, his statement confirmed that Army Network 2020 will include an employee-monitoring component.