Zee Media Bureau/Tarun Khanna
Washington: A photo released on the White House Flickr account shows that US President Barack Obama uses a ‘secret tent’, while travelling abroad, to hold important conversations.
A portable tent, known as Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility or SCIF, is set up by his security to prevent eavesdropping, phone tapping and computer hacking.
In the photo released, the President is seen sitting in the SCIF in Brazil while holding discussion on matters regarding the escalating military situation in Libya.
The SCIFs are said to have been designed in such a way that they prevent any outflow of secret discussions or meetings conducted between top diplomats and the President. Technically, these tents are soundproof, use only hard-wired connections, sport electronic countermeasures, and use a secret blue tarp-like material that prevents electronic transmissions from escaping.
The United States have been criticised by many world leaders after revelations made rounds that the National Security Agency had eavesdropped on allied leaders like Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.
The security officials have also asked to provide such secret tents to members of Congress, diplomats, policy makers and military officers other than the President.
In 2011, a White House photo showed a discussion going on between Obama, the then secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton, defence secretary Robert M Gatestalking in a SCIF set up in a Rio de Janeiro hotel suite in Brazil. The discussion was about the air war against Libya that had been launched the previous day.
A senior National Security official said that when the President travels abroad the first thing security team ensures before his visit is to ascertain the place to set up the tent.