Web searches can ID CIA agents, locations

    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.

    Through the data providers, the newspaper said it identified people by
    telephone listings, real estate transactions, voting records, property tax
    records and other financial and legal documents. The investigation also
    uncovered internal office phone numbers of the agency and covert mailing
    addresses used by undercover operatives.

    “Cover is a complex issue that is more complex in the Internet age,” the
    CIA’s chief spokeswoman, Jennifer Dyck, told the Tribune. “There are things that
    worked previously that no longer work.”

    The Tribune also located two dozen CIA facilities in Chicago, northern
    Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah and Washington state. Some of the
    facilities are heavily guarded, while others appear to be private residences
    with no obvious connection to the CIA.

    One of the facilities, a CIA training area dubbed “The Farm” at Camp Peary,
    Va., was a well-kept secret for decades. The agency refused to publicly
    acknowledge its existence, even after former CIA personnel confirmed its
    presence in the 1980s.

    But the Tribune said an Internet search for the term “Camp Peary” produced
    data identifying the names and other details of 26 people who apparently work
    there.

    Additionally, a review of aviation databases for flights at Camp Peary’s
    airstrip revealed 17 aircraft whose ownership and flight histories also could be
    traced.