Sunday, February 8, 2015

SILG, PNP, DDG compartmentalized

IT was heart-breaking looking at the metal caskets that bore the remains of our fallen police officers as it arrived in Villamor Air Base. Was it not just recently that Pope Francis’ in his message expressed hope for the dawning of lasting peace and development in Mindanao? And now this.
The incident last January 25, 2015 will go down in history to be known as the Mamasapano massacre (“misencounter” per Secretary Mar Roxas). PNoy’s address to the nation should have been a perfect opportunity to condemn the dastardly act and show to the nation a leader who is in charge. Unfortunately, it brought to the fore more questions than answers. Foremost in the minds of many is why the Secretary of Interior and Local Government and the PNP OIC Deputy Director General did not seem to know that there was such an ongoing operation. How can such an activity happen under their noses without them knowing it?
In information security, computer science, and other fields, the principle of least privilege (also known as the principle of minimal privilege or the principle of least authority) requires that in a particular abstraction layer of a computing environment, every module (such as a process, a user or a program depending on the subject) must be able to access only the information and resources that are necessary for its legitimate purpose.
In matters concerning information security, whether public or private sector, there is also what you call compartmentalization which limits access to information to persons or other entities who need to know it in order to perform certain tasks.
The concept originated in the handling of classified information in military and intelligence applications.
The basis for compartmentalization was the idea that, if fewer people know the details of a mission or task, the risk or likelihood that such information could be compromised or fall into the hands of the opposition is decreased. Hence, varying levels of clearance within organizations exist. Classified information is protected material that a government body claims is sensitive information that requires protection of confidentiality, integrity, or availability. Access is restricted by law or regulation to particular groups of people, and mishandling can incur criminal penalties and loss of respect.
A formal security clearance is often required to handle classified documents or access classified data. The clearance process usually requires a satisfactory background investigation. Documents and other information assets are typically marked with one of several (hierarchical) levels of sensitivity – e.g. restricted, confidential, secret and top secret.
The choice of level is often based on an impact assessment; governments often have their own set of rules which include the levels, rules on determining the level for an information asset, and rules on how to protect information classified at each level. This often includes security clearances for personnel handling the information. Yet, even if someone has the highest clearance, certain “compartmentalized” information, identified by code words referring to particular types of secret information, may still be restricted to certain operators, even with a lower overall security clearance. Information marked this way is said to be “codeword–classified.”
One famous example of this was the Ultra secret, where documents were marked “Top Secret Ultra”: “Top Secret” marked its security level, and the “Ultra” keyword further restricted its readership to only those cleared to read “Ultra” documents. (wikipedia)
So at what level of the hierarchy were the SILG (Secretary of Interior and Local Government) and PNP DDG (PNP Deouty Directory General) for them to be excluded? Are they in the “need to know” basis only? I also noticed that there were some foreigners helping out in retrieving the bodies. Who are they? Another layer of secrecy?
Moving forward, the Board of Inquiry tasked to investigate the incident — Wow! “incident” sounds like an insult to the memory of the 44 Fallen, so I’ll say TRAGEDY — must consist of people whose credibility and integrity are unquestionable. Otherwise, results of this investigation will only be suspect.
The world needs to see that we are not a safe haven for terrorists! More important, someone has to pay for the tragic fate that has befallen our men. Even if that means shelving the BBL. Let justice be served.
God is Great!

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