Federal Workers, Contractors, Soldiers and Some Students Warned not to Read WikiLeaks Cables
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
Reading WikiLeaks’ treasure trove of classified documents from the State Department can be bad for your career, says the Obama administration. Since the website began publishing diplomatic cables, officials from the Executive Branch have warned federal employees, contractors, soldiers and college students aspiring to work for Uncle Sam not to read any of the documents.
The Office of Management and Budget late last week sent a memo to government lawyers asking them to remind workers and contractors that reading classified documents without the appropriate security clearance is a big no-no, even if the materials are available for anyone to read on the Internet.
Next, counselors at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs told students not to spread the WikiLeaks documents around the Web or comment about them on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. The warning was issued after a State Department official who’s a school alum emailed the university about how messing with the WikiLeaks archive could hurt a student’s chance of landing a job in Washington.
Also, the career services department at Boston University School of Law issued a similar warning to students, claiming the reading of the WikiLeaks documents could interfere with getting a security clearance for certain government jobs.
Even the military is getting into the WikiLeaks-suppression game. The U.S. Army’s NIPRnet (Unclassified but Sensitive Internet Protocol (IP) Router Network) in Iraq is dissuading soldiers from not only visiting the WikiLeaks website, but also those of Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, the Huffington Post and other news outlets that have published stories about the documents. Troops can get to the websites, but accessing them prompts a window warning them they’re about to break the law if they proceed.
It has also been reported that the Library of Congress is blocking its employees and users of its computer terminals from reaching WikiLeaks.
OMB: WikiLeaks Off-limits to Federal Workers without Clearance (by Ed O’Keefe, Washington Post)
State Department to Columbia University Students: DO NOT Discuss WikiLeaks On Facebook, Twitter (by Rob Fishman, Huffington Post)
State Dept. Denies WikiLeaks Warning to Columbia (CBS News, Associated Press)
Could Just Reading WikiLeaks Get You Nixed from Working as a Federal Attorney? (by Elie Mystal, Above the Law)
U.S. Military in Iraq Tries to Intimidate Soldiers into Not Reading Wikileaks (by John Cook, Gawker)
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