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White House memo outlines new anti-leak measures

WASHINGTON, Dec 1 (Reuters) - The White House has set up a special anti-WikiLeaks panel after the embarrassing flood of State Department cables leaked by the website, and its proposals include teams of inspectors who would prowl government agencies looking for ways to tighten security.

A four-page draft memo circulated by the White House says President Barack Obama’s national security staff has created an “Interagency Policy Committee for WikiLeaks.”

The panel is charged with assessing the damage caused by the WikiLeaks dump of State Department cables, coordinating various agencies’ response to the leaks, and coming up with measures to improve security for classified documents.

The State Department cables, which follow similar document leaks by WikiLeaks on the Iraq and Afghan wars and have been published since Sunday, have cast a candid and sometimes embarrassing eye on the inner workings of U.S. diplomacy.

The memo, obtained by Reuters, says the National Counterintelligence Executive, which is part of the Office of Director of National Intelligence, will take a lead role in coming up with measures to prevent future WikiLeaks-scale leaking of government secrets.

The short-term measures the intelligence community will take include creating special inspection teams, led by officials from the counterintelligence executive’s office, to look for technical flaws in systems that could make it easier for insiders to steal classified information.

Bradley Manning, an Army private who worked as an intelligence analyst in Iraq, has been charged by militaryauthorities with unauthorized downloading of more than 150,000 State Department cables, though U.S. officials have declined to say whether those cables are the same ones now being released by WikiLeaks. (Reporting by Mark Hosenball, Editing by Frances Kerry)