The identities of 2,600 CIA employees and the locations of two dozen of the agency’s covert workplaces in the United States can be found easily through Internet searches, according to an investigation by the Chicago Tribune.
The newspaper obtained the information from data providers who charge fees for access to public records and reported on its findings in Sunday editions. It did not publish the identities or other details on its searches, citing concern it could endanger the CIA employees.
Not all of the 2,653 people the newspaper said it could identify as CIA employees were supposed to be covert, an issue raised in the Justice Department investigation of whether someone in the Bush administration leaked the identity of CIA operative
Valerie Plame to reporters in 2003.
Some in fact were non-covert analysts or senior executives, such as former CIA Director George Tenet. But the newspaper said it shared some of its findings with the CIA, and that the agency acknowledged the partial list of names included covert employees.
“Cover is an issue we look at all the time, and we are always looking to improve it,” CIA spokesman Tom Crispell told The Associated Press on Saturday.