A former security specialist at Los Alamos National Laboratory claims managers of the world's most important nuclear research facility "purposely thwarted an e-mail monitoring program designed to prevent security leaks," Government Executive reports.In January 2001, the Energy Department launched a pilot version of its Electronic Mail Analysis Capability (EMAC) program as part of larger effort to beef up counterintelligence measures.Under pressure from the University of California, which manages the lab for the Energy Department, "some managers at Los Alamos attempted to delay and eventually stop the EMAC project," according to the article.In an April 4th letter to Los Alamos interim director George Nanos, former Office of Internal Security employee Jack Harris "claimed that he was told by a manager to do 'whatever [he] could to delay and defer the implementation of this program.'"
The manager allegedly told him that the University of California did not want the Energy Department analyzing e-mails. The university was worried that scientists at Los Alamos would object to the practice and would revolt, causing a greater problem than the possible loss of data.Concerns about scientists' sensitivities have undermined several security measures at the troubled lab. As previously noted, many guards at Los Alamos patrol the grounds without their guns. That's because some scientists viewed the armed patrols as a kind of "occupying army" at the lab, a member of the security team told Defense Tech.