Computer Security:

DEA Is Not Adequately Protecting National Security Information

IMTEC-92-31: Published: Feb 19, 1992. Publicly Released: Feb 25, 1992.

Additional Materials:


Howard G. Rhile, Jr
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed: (1) the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) computer security; and (2) weaknesses involving national security information.

GAO found that DEA: (1) has not identified all computer systems that process classified data as required by Department of Justice policy; (2) personnel are improperly using an unapproved and unprotected computer network to routinely process classified data; and (3) is not properly safeguarding computer-generated materials and documents or adequately controlling access to areas where computers process national security information.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOJ and DEA have taken actions necessary to respond to the recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Attorney General should direct the Administrator, DEA, to identify all computers processing national security information, perform risk analyses to assess security threats, and establish appropriate security safeguards as needed in conformance with federal requirements. This should include ensuring that: (1) adequate controls are in place over access to areas where national security information is processed and stored; and (2) DEA employees are made aware of their responsibility to appropriately safeguard national security information.

    Agency Affected: Department of Justice

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DEA has completed security compliance reviews and has taken action to improve operations.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, DEA, should determine whether similar national security information weaknesses exist at other DEA domestic and foreign locations, and take the required corrective action, where necessary.

    Agency Affected: Department of Justice: Drug Enforcement Administration


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