Secrecy In The Cloud

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TPM Reader BH offer his experience of the Wikileaks fallout:

I work for a mid-size defense contractor. Earlier this week the corporate security office sent a memo to everyone reminding us that: 1) Wikileaks was blocked at the company firewall; and 2) people who had security clearances should not go to the Wikileaks site on their home computer.

The wording for this latter item was very similar to the LoC press release that you quoted. Paraphrasing, it said that the information is still classified and that looking at it without a need to know might be a violation.

The idea that “released is not declassified” is not a new position for the government to take. It is actually a test question on the annual security training we contractor-drones must do.

The policy is, however, usually taken to mean that cleared people are not supposed to comment on the material or point it out to non-cleared people. In other words, don’t disclose any new information related to the leak and don’t help to spread it. To say that people are to avert their eyes lest they be contaminated is kind of over the top.

It was easily the most bizarre email I’ve received from corporate this year.

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David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.
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