Data security charge for former CIA boss

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The Independent US

The former head of the CIA is to face a criminal investigation into charges that he illegally put highly classified data on his home computer.

The inquiry follows allegations that the US government applied lax standards to its most senior officials when those lower down the hierarchy were charged with spying. It also follows a series of embarrassing losses of personal computers by American and British spies, raising questions about the agencies' security policies.

The data that John Deutch put on his home computer included memos to President Bill Clinton and details of highly classified covert operations. The CIA knew about it, but appeared to consider it a minor lapse. Now, in response to widespread criticism, the Justice Department and the FBI will determine whether he broke the law and should be punished, the New York Times reported yesterday.

The case was highlighted after Wen Ho Lee, a nuclear scientist suspected of espionage, was charged for transferring data to a non-secure system. Mr Lee was alleged to have spied for China.

Mr Deutch has apologised for the incident. "At no time did I intend to violate security rules. Fortunately, there is no evidence of compromise. I very much regret my errors."