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The White House, Executive Order 13587: "Structural Reforms to Improve the Security of Classified Networks and the Responsible Sharing and Safeguarding of Classified Information," 76 Fed. Reg., No. 198, 3 C.F.R. 276 (Oct. 7, 2011) (full-text), revised (June 2012) (full-text).


This Executive Order directs structural reforms to ensure responsible sharing and safeguarding of classified information on computer networks that shall be consistent with appropriate protections for privacy and civil liberties. Agencies bear the primary responsibility for meeting these twin goals. These structural reforms will ensure coordinated interagency development and reliable implementation of policies and minimum standards regarding information security, personnel security, and systems security; address both internal and external security threats and vulnerabilities; and provide policies and minimum standards for sharing classified information both within and outside the Federal Government.

These policies and minimum standards will address all agencies that operate or access classified computer networks, all users of classified computer networks (including contractors and others who operate or access classified computer networks controlled by the Federal Government), and all classified information on those networks.

Among other measures, Executive Order 13587 establishes an interagency Insider Threat Task Force with a mandate to:

develop a Government-wide program (insider threat program) for deterring, detecting, and mitigating insider threats, including the safeguarding of classified information from exploitation, compromise, or other unauthorized disclosure, taking into account risk levels, as well as the distinct needs, missions, and systems of individual agencies. This program shall include development of policies, objectives, and priorities for establishing and integrating security, counterintelligence, user audits and monitoring, and other safeguarding capabilities and practices within agencies.[1]

Revised Directive[]

The Revised Directive emphasizes the integration of security and counterintelligence functions for, among other purposes, strengthening deterrence, detection and mitigation of "insider threats," which it defined as "personnel who use their authorized access to do harm to the security of the US through espionage, terrorism, unauthorized disclosure of information, or through the loss or degradation of resources or capabilities." It also establishes an inspection process to ensure that departments and agencies that handle national intelligence maintain effective operational security practices.


  1. Executive Order §6.