Feeds

White House forbids feds from reading WikiLeaked cables

Everyone else on earth can read them. But they're still classified

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

The epic collection of classified US documents exposed by WikiLeaks over the past several weeks offer little more than good gossip. But watching the response to Julian Assange and his whistle-blowing website is wonderfully entertaining.

The latest act in the worldwide WikiLeaks comedy: on Friday, the White House told federal employees and contractors that they're not allowed to read classified federal documents posted to WikiLeaks unless they have the proper security clearance. This rule applies when they're using government machines or their own personal computers.

As reported by CNN, the White House Office of Management and Budget sent a memo to the general counsels of various government agencies saying that the publishing of classified documents to WikiLeaks does "not alter the documents' classified status or automatically result in declassification of the documents."

"To the contrary, 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," the memo read.

Asked if employees and contractors could lose their jobs if they visit WikiLeaks, a White House spokeswoman told CNN: "Any breaches of protocols governing access to classified material are subject to applicable sanctions under long-standing and existing law."

But the memo does have its limits. It doen't bar employees and contractors from reading news articles about the WikiLeaked US State Department cables, and it doesn't instruct agencies to block access to WikiLeaks.

Not that this has stopped the Department of Defense and the Library of Congress. Both have blocked access to the site on their own.

Meanwhile, PayPal has shut the account that WikiLeaks used to take donations, saying that the site violated its terms of service. Last week, Amazon shut down WikiLeaks server mirrors on its AWS hosting service, and EveryDNS cut off WikiLeaks DNS service. Amazon claims its decision was not in response to a government inquiry, while EveryDNS said it booted WikiLeaks because of heavy DDoS attacks directed at the site. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.