White House: Take sensitive data offline

White House: Take sensitive data offline

Federal agencies are re-examining their Web sites for information deemed sensitive after a March 20 presidential memo told them to scrub anything that might be useful to terrorists.

The memo, drafted by the White House and the Justice Department's Information Security Oversight Office, directs agencies to classify or reclassify information that could aid in development or use of weapons of mass destruction. It also tells them to examine data that is unclassified but sensitive.

Agriculture Department spokeswoman Alicia Harrison said the department has been reviewing information on its Web sites for the last six months. 'The majority of the sensitive information has been removed, but the memo gives us more direction,' she said. 'All the information on all the Web sites will be re-evaluated.'

Alfonso Aguilar, an Energy spokesman, said the department has been examining its online information and will continue to do so.

Since Sept. 11, agencies have pulled more than 6,000 documents from Web sites, including maps and information about nuclear sites and reactors.

Donald Ralbovsky, a spokesman for the National Institutes of Health, said NIH 'is planning to review all the Web sites and comply with what the memo says.'

Bill Hall, a Health and Human Services spokesman, said, 'It's too early to say what process the department will use to comply with the memo. But we will cooperate and report the findings in 90 days.'

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