Monday, March 13, 2006

CIA personnel, offices easily found on Internet

CIA personnel, offices easily found on Internet--report
First posted 09:45am (Mla time) Mar 13, 2006
Agence France-Presse

CHICAGO – The names of CIA personnel, including covert operatives, internal telephone numbers and locations of two dozen CIA installations can be found through Internet searches, a US newspaper reported Sunday.

Through online services that provide public, legally obtained information for a fee, a reporter netted a directory of 2,600 Central Intelligence Agency employees and 50 internal phone numbers, according to a Chicago Tribune investigation.

The Chicago daily also discovered the identities of CIA operatives assigned to US embassies in Europe.

At the request of the CIA, the newspaper did not release the names of the operatives. It did quote an unnamed source saying CIA director Porter Goss was "horrified" at the discovery.

"Cover is a complex issue that is more complex in the Internet age," chief CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Dyck told the Tribune.

"There are things that worked previously that no longer work. Director Goss is committed to modernizing the way the agency does cover in order to protect our officers who are doing dangerous work."

She did not tell the daily what those remedies would be "since we don't want the bad guys to know what we're fixing."

The discoveries included some of the so-called front companies set up for CIA operatives and the airplanes they use to transfer terror suspects to countries where torture is used, a method called "renditions."

Several of the listings of those front companies have disappeared from their Internet since the CIA found out about the security leaks, the newspaper said.

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