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Library of Congress Blocks Access To Wikileaks

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A spokesman for the library could not immediately comment, but expects to have a statement shortly.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Inside the Bahnhof Bunker, Home Of The Wikileaks Servers]

The library is a governmental institution and serves as the research arm for Congress. It was established in 1800 and, when it was burned down by the British in 1814, Thomas Jefferson donated his own personal library to replace it. (Not for free, though; Congress paid $23,950 for the books.) It has grown ever since and, according to the library, it has "more than 144 million items including more than 33 million cataloged books and other print materials in 460 languages; more than 63 million manuscripts; the largest rare book collection in North America; and the world's largest collection of legal materials, films, maps, sheet music and sound recordings."

The State and Commerce departments haves also reportedly told their employees not to look at the Wikileaks cables, while the Department of Education reportedly blocked it entirely.

Late update: The Library of Congress has confirmed that it is blocking Wikileaks. From a statement:

The Library decided to block Wikileaks because applicable law obligates federal agencies to protect classified information. Unauthorized disclosures of classified documents do not alter the documents' classified status or automatically result in declassification of the documents.

The Committee on House Administration, which oversees the Joint Committee on the Library, also released a statement: "The Library made a decision to block access to Wikileaks because of applicable law obligating federal agencies to protect classified information."

Late late update: The library responds on its blog.