In 2008, someone was able to infect the Department of Defense’s computer network with malware by using a simple thumb drive. DOD tightened its policy toward its classified information, yet two years later, Pfc. Bradley Manning was allegedly able to walk in with a CD labeled “Lady Gaga” and download highly sensitive databases.

According to Firedoglake’s Marcy Wheeler, even now DOD is dragging its feet on protecting its classified network, SIPRnet. Speaking with The Nation at this year’s National Conference for Media Reform, Wheeler recounts how during a hearing held in mid-March of this year by Senators Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins, DOD laid out a timeline for responding to the sensitive information that made its way to WikiLeaks. But they’ve shown a poor track record of taking timely action in the past: even after Wired magazine published the revealing chat logs between Manning and hacker Adrian Lamo in June of last year, DOD did not get around to calling for two commissions to investigate what happened until late July, about two months after Manning’s arrest.

“It’s as if they didn’t believe the chat logs,” Wheeler says. But if the information that Manning allegedly leaked is so sensitive, Wheeler says, why has DOD not taken basic security measures to protect their databases?

For more, read Wheeler’s post, “One Year After Collateral Murder Release, DOD’s Networks Are Still Glaring Security Problem.”

—Kevin Gosztola