Security Violations at the FBI: High Ranking Officials Bring Smart Phones Into SCIFs

They were taking pictures of the documents illegally seized from Mar-a-Lago and leaking them to their friends at the WaPo.

Washington Times

More FBI whistleblowers have stepped forward to Congress and accused high-ranking bureau officials of bringing unauthorized smartphones into top-secret facilities, a security breach that can expose classified materials.

This time, the FBI said it is investigating the complaints and “takes all security matters seriously.”

The alleged security violations occurred in a sensitive compartmented information facility or SCIF set up for the executive offices on the 7th floor of the FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover Building, according to the whistleblower.

The new complaint follows The Washington Times’ exclusive report last week detailing an FBI agent disclosing to Congress that FBI Deputy Director Paul Abatte, among other top agents, broke security rules and jeopardized classified material by using a smartphone inside of SCIFs.

The FBI denied the whistleblowers’ accusations about Mr. Abatte but said the bureau was looking into the new allegations.

FBI agent told The Times that this kind of behavior among the bureau’s executives is prevalent at field offices across the country.

The new disclosure sent to House Judiciary Committee Republicans came from a former program manager of the FBI’s Defensive Electronic Group who was responsible for technical surveillance countermeasures on the 7th floor of the FBI’s Washington headquarters. It is on the 7th floor where the highest ranking FBI officials have offices.

The former FBI employee said several violations were detected during a security sweep of the 7th floor SCIF.

“During the exam, I observed dozens of strong Bluetooth signals. As I began looking for possible sources, I observed several phones on desks and in use inside the SCIF,” the former FBI employee said in the disclosure to lawmakers. “I had just begun looking for them when the Chief Security Officer responsible for the area shut me down. He specifically directed me not to pursue it or take any action.”

“Cell phones are not permitted inside. Based on the readings I observed, I believe every employee there was violating the cell phone policy,” he said in the whistleblower disclosure.

……SCIFs have the most highly classified and potentially sensitive records collected by the U.S. government, including documents summarizing threats to homeland security, surveillance records on suspected terrorists and the names of informants.

The U.S. intelligence community has rules governing how SCIFs are built and managed, which include restrictions on the use of portable electronic devices and those with recording capabilities and embedded technologies.

Managers must approve such devices to enter a SCIF, and the officials must conduct a risk assessment before giving a greenlight, according to technical specifications published by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence last year. Medical devices are similarly subject to reviews and approvals.

SCIFs are not only located in government buildings or only inside the U.S., and managers of SCIFs outside the U.S. have different rules.

Former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence housed a SCIF during his presidency. The FBI also used a SCIF at the law firm Perkins Coie, representing prominent Democratic clients.

Bringing a cellphone into a SCIF presents security challenges that are not limited to a hacker accessing a microphone or camera.

This is the same FBI that raided Melania Trump’s underwear drawer and Barron Trump’s bedroom looking for “nuclear secrets“.

Hillary Clinton refused to comply with subpoenas to turn over thousands of classified documents she had on her home computer, and then destroyed devices and wiped her computer of evidence.  She was never raided.

DNC law firm Perkins Coie has an “FBI workspace” in its DC offices.  Michael Sussmann, who was Hillary’s campaign lawyer ,  is in charge of this FBI workspace.  Sussman got off on charges after lying to the FBI over the “Russian collusion” hoax.  Perkins Coie was never raided.

It all depends on if you’re an Enemy of the State.


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