Records gathered by the Department of Homeland Security under a surveillance monitoring system called Einstein will be destroyed – not for security reasons, but because the agency claims they have no value. The records to be dumped – more than three years old at this point – come from the controversial monitoring system called Einstein and include data about traffic to government websites, agency network intrusions and general vulnerability.
The Einstein surveillance project was a Bush Administration initiative implemented in 2004 to automatically collect computer network security information from participating federal agencies. Initially only a few federal agencies participated in the monitoring system, but with additional funding it was deployed at fifteen of nearly six hundred agencies, departments and web resources of the US government.
Records considered of “no value” are emails of federal workers and public citizens communicating about potential cyber threats to DHS, “suspicious files, spam and other potential cyber threats,” indicators of known and unknown malicious activity, and a repository for threat sightings and indicators.