Acting as if we live in some sort of fantasy world, the Obama administration and the Pentagon have both forbid their hundreds of thousands of federal workers to view the WikiLeaks secret cables—unless those employees have the requisite security clearance.
The move, experts believe, is futile as the dispersion of the information, as well as the incapacity of the government to monitor private Internet usage, make the decision by the Obama White House seem a bit out of touch. —JCL
The New York Times:
In a classic case of shutting the barn door after the horse has left, the Obama administration and the Department of Defense have ordered the hundreds of thousands of federal employees and contractors not to view the secret cables and other classified documents published by Wikileaks and news organizations around the world unless the workers have the required security clearance or authorization.
“Classified information, whether or not already posted on public websites or disclosed to the media, remains classified, and must be treated as such by federal employees and contractors, until it is declassified by an appropriate U.S. Government authority,” said the notice sent on Friday afternoon by the Office of Management and Budget, which is part of the White House, to agency and department heads, urging them to distribute it to their staff.
The directive applies to both government computers and private devices that employees or contractors might have, as long as they are accessing the documents on nonclassified government networks. It does not advise agencies to block WikiLeaks or other websites on government computer systems, a White House official said Saturday. And it does not prohibit federal employees from reading news stories about the topic. But if they have “accidentially” already downloaded any of these documents, they are being told to notify their “information security offices.”