Secret CIA report shows up online Document from '98 names Japanese agents, 'hard target' countries

Sunday, July 23rd 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON – A secret CIA overview of the U.S. intelligence community that was prepared for visiting Japanese intelligence officials has been posted on an Internet site, prompting security concerns among intelligence officials and their overseers on Capitol Hill.

The CIA briefing, containing some sensitive information about budget trends and so-called "hard" intelligence target countries, appeared a week ago on Cryptome, an Internet site maintained by John Young.

Mr. Young, a New York City architect, started posting government documents on encryption and intelligence issues six years ago.

He said he posted the secret CIA document and lists naming hundreds of agents from Japan's Public Security Investigation Agency after receiving the documents from a source in Japan.

CIA officials have not asked Mr. Young to remove the briefing from the Web site, but he said two FBI agents forwarded a request from the Japanese Ministry of Justice that the lists of agents be removed.

Mr. Young refused, saying publication contributed to public awareness of how government functions.

One senior intelligence official said that official visitors from Japan's Public Security Investigation Agency were authorized to receive the secret briefing at CIA headquarters in June 1998.

"But public disclosure of that information is troubling," the official said. "In terms of the information [in the briefing], it is not insignificant. We're always concerned when classified information is disclosed publicly."

Written briefing materials – presented by Charles E. Allen, the assistant director of central intelligence for collection – state that executive boards had been created to review plans for penetrating five "hard target" countries – Iran, China, North Korea, Cuba and Russia. The countries are singled out under Presidential Decision Directive 35, issued by President Clinton to establish intelligence priorities.

The briefing materials also contain closely guarded budget information.