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Obama Administration Threatens Leak-Citing Intelligence Workers

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Posted on May 9, 2014

Photo by Kradlum (CC BY 2.0)

Current and former members of U.S. intelligence services who cite news reports based on leaks in any of their public statements now face penalties and the possible loss of access and security clearances, The New York Times reports.

The punishment is part of a new “pre-publication review policy” for employees and contractors with the Office of Director of National Intelligence begun last month. It covers statements made by workers in “speeches, opinion articles, books, term papers or other unofficial writings,” the paper says.

The rule says officials “must not use sourcing that comes from known leaks, or unauthorized disclosures of sensitive information. The use of such information in a publication can confirm the validity of an unauthorized disclosure and cause further harm to national security.”

The development follows a rule made in March by National Intelligence Director James Clapper that “bars officials at all 17 intelligence agencies from speaking without permission to journalists about unclassified information related to intelligence,” the Times reports.

The new policy was first reported Thursday on the Secrecy News blog by Steven Aftergood, the director of the Project on Government Secrecy for the Federation of American Scientists.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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