Cablegate: January 2010 Caracas Ciwg
DE RUEHCV #0107/01 0281832
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 281832Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY CARACAS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0378
INFO RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS
S E C R E T CARACAS 000107
E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/01/28
SUBJECT: January 2010 Caracas CIWG
CLASSIFIED BY: Andres Barcenas, ARSO, Dept. of State, RSO Caracas;
(SBU) On January 5, 2010 Caracas held its bi-annual
Counterintelligence Working Group (CIWG) meeting to review current
threat levels and countermeasures, to discuss recent CI activity
and establish post policy on use of FOBs and Opennet Blackberries.
In attendance for the meeting were representatives from MSG, POL,
MGT, RSO, DHS, LEGAT, DEA, CONS, ESO, ECON, DAO/Milgroup, ORA and
IMO. The DCM chaired the meeting.
(S/NF) RSO stated the current threat levels for post and stressed
that Caracas is critical and high in 4 of the 6 threat categories.
RSO and other sections confirmed that Venezuelan Intelligence
Services (Directorate of Military Intelligence-DIM and the
Bolivarian Intelligence Service-SEBIN formerly DISIP) are
conducting HUMINT and TECH operations against Embassy staff, as
well as political opposition leaders and are controlled by the
Cuban Intelligence Service operating in Venezuela. While the
collection priority appears to be for political opposition leaders,
RSO reminded everyone that the VIS have the capability, means and
desire to monitor and target Embassy staff.
(SBU) During a review of the current threat levels RSO and SEO
stressed the requirement that locally engaged staff without
security clearances must be escorted at all times in the CAA. This
includes the front entrance of the 5th floor area near the
elevators. LE Staff must not be left unattended in that area.
(SBU) RSO reminded Section heads when having staff meetings with
local employees (non-cleared Americans) inside CAA locations the
Section Head MUST compartmentalize all information and only discuss
unclassified information in their presence. In addition SEO
explained the standards for introducing electronic or new items
into CAA locations and reiterated that no computers or other
electronic items are allowed in CAA unless they have been sent
securely to Post through the classified pouch system and controlled
at all times. Personal items must be screened and tagged by the
SEO before entering the CAA areas. This standard applies to all
agencies and staff, PSC or TDY. SEO is working with MGT to send
out a management notice to all staff reminding them of proper
procurement procedures for CAA locations.
(SBU) RSO reiterated to all Section heads the Department policy and
guidelines for Foreign Contact Reporting and encouraged all Section
Heads to review the contact reporting policy with all Cleared
Americans in their sections. In addition RSO reminded staff that
contact reporting is required for all personal social engagements
with locally engaged staff from the Embassy. RSO will resubmit the
Mission Security Notice on Foreign Contact Reporting next week as a
reminder to all staff.
(SBU) As part of Post Debriefing Program, RSO expects DS TDY
support from Washington in March/April to assist with the Annual
Security Briefings for all Embassy staff. RSO will hold another
debriefing review this month for all cleared-American staff
arriving at post over the last 90 to 120 days.
(S) RSO stressed the need to establish a clear post policy on the
issuance of FOBs and Opennet Blackberries. IMO stated that
currently only cleared American staff have been issued FOBs and
Blackberries, but a few sections have stated the need for a FSN to
carry Blackberries. It was agreed that the CIWG will review all
requests for FOBS and Blackberries and will determine if the need
and stated justification should be approved or denied. The CIWG
discussed the pros and cons of FOB use within Venezuela and on home
computers. The CIWG affirmed that FOBs should remain issued only
to cleared American staff (Further review of the Department
guidelines and requirements states that based on Caracas' threat
level cleared American staff must only use the FOBS on computers
that meet all the Department required security guidelines.) The
CIWG determined that individuals assigned FOBs should evaluate
their need and use discretion of the FOB only when the work cannot
be completed at the Embassy (perhaps only Unclass and not SBU).
Cleared Americans issued FOBs should receive an additional briefing
from the ISSO and the RSO to discourage frivolous use of the FOB,
with a review of what constitutes SBU, especially for non-State
(SBU) Point of contact for this cable is ARSO Andres Barcenas and
RSO Wendy Bashnan, telephone number 58-212-907-8403. Regards.