DOD office finds e-mail filter for classified info

DOD office finds e-mail filter for classified info

Classified information embedded accidentally'or intentionally'in e-mail used to be an everyday headache at the Office of the Defense Undersecretary for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.

Commercial filtering software was 'flagging too many' of the 30,000 Microsoft Outlook messages that flow in and out daily, said David Lloyd, who was detailed to the office to find a solution.

The false positives had to be examined even if their only secret was in the harmless word 'secretary.' And for every nine or 10 false positives, the filters he tested over an 18-month period would miss one or more message attachments with real leaks.

Lloyd and the Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval of Amherst, Mass., looked for a natural language analyzer that could do sophisticated root parsing and syntax analysis.

They finally settled on the $40,000 Harvest Mail server application from Chiliad Corp., also of Amherst, and 'it's working satisfactorily after more than a year,' Lloyd said. 'Only security officers see the hits''about seven per day, and if the examiners agree with the software, they immediately contact the e-mail administrator and counsel the employee who sent the message.

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