March 16, 2020 / 6:25 PM / in 2 months

No spying from home in CIA's coronavirus plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In the age of the coronavirus, working from home is no option for many employees of America’s spy agencies.

Handling highly sensitive information requires meeting in the secure confines of the CIA, the National Counterterrorism Center and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees all U.S. intelligence agencies, three sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

U.S. intelligence workers are being offered more flexible working hours where possible, one of the sources said, although such agency offices as operations centers remain staffed around the clock.

The outbreak has prompted the CIA to bar outside visitors from its buildings, and meetings with other government agencies are via video teleconferences, the source said.

The agency is considering a social-distancing plan for key employees to work in different offices. Any employee suspected of having been exposed to the virus would need to self-quarantine for 14 days.

One CIA employee tested negative for the coronavirus at the weekend, two sources said. So far none of the three intelligence agencies reports any employees have contracted the virus, the three sources said.

Reporting By Mark Hosenball; Editing by Ross Colvin and Howard Goller

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