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

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.