This morning I read an article about sensitive documents leaked from various government sources through peer to peer (P2P) networks. In this circumstance the culprit was LimeWire, but it could have been any of them. Details on a safe house for the first family in the event of a national emergency was just the latest in a string of leaks. Previously the routes of the President’s limo were leaked. In January sensitive details about the President’s helicopter were leaked through a P2P network.
This prompted Representative Edolphus Towns (D-NY) to call for a ban of P2P software on all government and contractor computers. Others are calling for investigations of the makers of P2P software as enabling illegal activity and unfair trading practices.
I was amazed that people are using the same computers to read sensitive documents and share music/documents using a P2P network. The problem is that these are leaks from inside not outsiders breaking in. The government could enact legislation to corral this, but everyone knows people will always find a way around it.
I think the government should look into using digital rights management software to ensure that if sensitive documents get out, they can’t be read. Or better yet the documents delete themselves. This seems like a quicker fix and easier to implement. Pursuing legislation still makes sense, but you can’t legislate everything. Encrypting files at the point of creation seems the best course.
What do you think is the best way to secure documents?
photo credit adactio