A new audit from the Government Accountability Office shows the federal government is leasing spaces from foreign owners and using the spaces for classified operations.
GAO officials report the audit raises concern because there are security risks including espionage and unauthorized access.
“Federal officials who assess foreign investments in the United States and some tenant agencies occupying high-security leased space told GAO that leasing space in foreign-owned buildings could present security risks such as espionage and unauthorized cyber and physical access,” the GAO report states.
The report says the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Agency, and Secret Service, are among several government agencies leasing the spaces in China, Israel, Japan, and South Korea and other countries.
“The 26 tenant agencies occupy about 3.3 million square feet at an annual cost of about $97 million and use the space, in some cases, for classified operations and to store law enforcement evidence and sensitive data,” the GAO reports.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, some agencies didn’t know they were leasing spaces from foreign companies.
“The Secret Service indicated that the integrity and protection against potential compromise of the agency’s protection and intelligence information, criminal investigations, and personal identifiable information would require implementing additional countermeasures to mitigate any threats and protect the agency’s operations as a result of occupying space in a building that we identified as being foreign owned.”
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