Noah Shachtman writes on the always interesting WIRED’s Danger Room:
Any citizen, any foreign spy, any member of the Taliban, and any terrorist can go to the WikiLeaks website, and download detailed information about how the U.S. military waged war in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2009. Members of that same military, however, are now banned from looking at those internal military documents. “Doing so would introduce potentially classified information on unclassified networks,” according to one directive issued by the armed forces.
That cry you hear? It’s common sense, writhing in pain.
There was a time, just a few months ago, when the Pentagon appeared to be growing comfortable with the emerging digital media landscape. Troops were free to blog and tweet, as long as they used their heads and didn’t disclose secrets. Thumb drives and DVDs could be employed, as long as they didn’t carry viruses or classified information. But the WikiLeaks disclosures — tens of thousands of classified documents — seem to have reversed that trajectory.
Now, the Marine Corps is telling troops and civilian employees in a memo:
[W]illingly accessing the WIKILEAKS website for the purpose of viewing the posted classified material [constitutes] the unauthorized processing, disclosure, viewing, and downloading of classified information onto an UNAUTHORIZED computer system not approved to store classified information. Meaning they have WILLINGLY committed a SECURITY VIOLATION.
The other branches of the armed services have put out similar notices. The memos were initially reported in the Washington Times. But the story has been removed from the paper’s website.
Read More: WIRED’s Danger Room
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