News Release

DoD News Briefing

Tuesday, September 15, 1998 - 2:15 p.m.
Presenter: Mr. Kenneth H. Bacon, ASD PA


Q: There was a report I guess last week about an impending memorandum from Dr. Hamre to lay out some stricter guidelines, I guess, on what the DoD posts on its web site. I was wondering if you could maybe give us a little bit of background on this activity, and whether or not there are some specific cases where the Pentagon may have released information inadvertently or perhaps some other fashion, and it's led Dr. Hamre to be concerned about this.

A: This is an example of a challenge that balances two goals. The challenge is to balance two goals. One is to have web sites that provide useful information to the users of those web sites but don't go too far in providing information that could be dangerous if misused by malefactors of various sorts.

So Dr. Hamre and the Joint Staff have been aggressively looking at the content of web sites to see what sort of information they may provide on building plans, for instance; actual diagrams of buildings of certain military installations; on lessons learned on certain military operations or programs; on future R&D goals or programmatic goals, and also personnel information that could perhaps provide too much information in terms of locating people or recreating identities from information provided on the Internet.

We're in the process now, as I believe many private companies are, of trying to sort out what the right balance is between providing useful information and providing more information than is necessary over the Internet. Some of this involves cutting out clutter on the Internet and focusing web sites so that they provide useful amounts of information without overwhelming users. This is a process that has been going on for some time. I don't believe it's quite over yet. At some appropriate time we'll be able to make a more detailed announcement.

Q: Have there in fact been specific cases where it is believed that these malefactors have gained permission and might be...

A: I think this is an example of trying to anticipate future problems rather than waiting for the problems to catch us.


Press: Thank you.