Former CIA Director John Deutch may have been careless in putting classified material on a home computer connected to the Internet, but no one thinks he was engaged in espionage, CIA Director George Tenet told Congress on Thursday.
Tenet made that assertion after Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., likened Deutch's actions to those of former Los Alamos scientist Wen Ho Lee _ now jailed on an indictment for comparable computer practices _ and questioned why Deutch was being treated differently.
Meanwhile, Justice Department lawyers will review a CIA inspector general's report on the Deutch investigation, but based on information currently available, there are no plans to reopen it, a Justice official said Thursday.
Tenet disputed a parallel between Deutch and Lee.
"In one instance, there is an intent to do harm to the United States. That's a legal judgment that's been made. In the other instance, a similar legal judgment was not made," Tenet told the Senate Armed Services Committee. "I don't think the cases are similar."
However, Lee was not charged by the government with espionage. He was indicted on 59 counts related to the alleged mishandling of U.S. nuclear secrets, including transferring top-secret files from a secured computer to one that was not secure.
Tenet said Deutch was merely working from his home, not engaged in transferring classified material from a secured computer to an unsecured one, as Lee is alleged to have done.
"That's not to say that this case involving the former director is not serious," said Tenet, who has called his predecessor's computer use "sloppy."
Proposed rules would protect financial data
Federal regulators on Thursday proposed new rules spelling out how consumers' personal data will be protected as barriers between banks, investment firms and insurance companies come down.
The rules, proposed by the Federal Reserve and a Treasury Department division, will make it tougher for financial companies to share even seemingly innocuous information, such as customers' names, addresses and telephone numbers, with outside marketing firms.
Still, the onus is on consumers. They must ask, in a letter or form, financial companies with whom they do business not to share or sell their data.
Furthermore, under a financial overhaul law enacted in November, banks, brokerages and insurers that join under the same corporate roof are entitled to share customers' personal financial data with each other.