OMB to Federal Workers: Eyes off WikiLeaks Site

The Office of Management and Budget issued a memo late Friday night, instructing federal workers and contractors not to read WikiLeaks materials, according to The Washington Post.

“Classified information, whether or not already posted on public websites or disclosed to the media, remains classified,” the memo states, “and must be treated as such by federal employees and contractors, until it is declassified by an appropriate U.S. government authority.”

The Post reports the Defense Department has issued similar directives for DoD personnel.

And, even potential federal employees were warned away from reading the site, or dispersing information about it through links on their social media profiles.

Columbia University career counselors recommended that students considering federal careers not post links on Facebook or Twitter, saying, in an email, that doing so “would call into question your ability to deal with confidential information, which is part of most positions with the federal government.”

OMB has not directed agencies to formally block the website.

However, federal employee or not, users may find it difficult to access the site. Amazon Web Services pulled the plug on hosting the controversial site on its servers, and PayPal similarly pulled it services from the site, which allowed users to donate to the organization.

The Associated Press reports most WikiLeaks traffic is now routed through the Swiss version, which is controlled by a freedom-of-information organization based in Switzerland, known as the Swiss Pirate Party.

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One comment

  1. OMB’s memo barring government employees from viewing leaked classified documents that are in the public domain reflects government at its reflexive worst. While a hyper-technical reading of the rules governing classified information may support this ban, it serves no legitimate purpose to bar federal employees from reading that which has become irretrievably public (and thus available to all our enemies), however unfortunate the leaks may be. To bar access (particularly on non-government computers)as OMB has done simply brings the classification system into disrepute and makes the Obama administration (which in general I strongly support) look foolish.

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