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Government agencies restrict employee access to WikiLeaks

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The White House told government agencies to take measures to prevent employees without proper authorization from accessing classified US diplomatic cables on WikiLeaks.

“The recent disclosure of US government documents by WikiLeaks has resulted in damage to our national security,” the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said in a message to all federal agencies obtained by AFP.

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It reminded them that “each federal employee and contractor is obligated to protect classified information” and said that a public release of classified documents did not mean they had been declassified.

“Unauthorized disclosures of classified documents (whether in print, on a blog or on websites) do not alter the documents’ classified status or automatically result in declassification of the documents,” the OMB said.

“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 US government authority.”

Moira Mack, an OMB spokeswoman, said the notice “restates and reinforces existing restrictions on access to classified documents by unauthorized personnel or on computers that access the Web via non-classified government systems.”

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“It reinforces existing requirements to protect the integrity of non-classified government systems, and to prevent spillage of classified material onto non-classified systems,” she added.

The Library of Congress was among the institutions that blocked access to WikiLeaks, prompting the whistleblower website to say on its Twitter feed that the move signaled “end times” for the First Amendment of the US Constitution guaranteeing free speech.

In a post on the Library of Congress blog, communications director Matt Raymond confirmed that access to Wikileaks was being blocked and rejected accusations of censorship.

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“The Library decided to block Wikileaks because applicable law obligates federal agencies to protect classified information,” Raymond said.

“In other words, the site is being blocked not out of censorship, but because providing the information that is there is illegal.

“The Library is prohibited both by federal law and our own regulations from providing public access to classified information,” he added.

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2020 Election

Progressives say GM’s decision to cut off employee health insurance ‘yet another reason why we need Medicare for All’

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General Motors' decision Tuesday to stop paying healthcare premiums for nearly 50,000 of the company's striking workers offered a powerful case for why Medicare for All is necessary to ensure stable and quality insurance as a right for everyone in the United States.

That was the argument advanced by single-payer supporters in the wake of GM's move, which union leaders and others quickly denounced as a cruel intimidation tactic designed to break the United Auto Workers strike.

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New documents reveal the military has paid Trump’s Scotland resort more than $180,000

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Under President Donald Trump, the U.S. military has spent more than $180,000 at the Trump Turnberry resort in Scotland while service members have been stopped at the Glasgow Prestwick airport, according to a Pentagon letter sent to the House Oversight Committee.

Politico first reported on and published the letter on Wednesday.

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Accused child molester Roy Moore defends Brett Kavanaugh: ‘I too was the object of false allegations’

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Accused child molester Roy Moore on Wednesday came to the defense of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who has been accused of sexual assault.

Moore's remarks came after The New York Times published accounts from a new book, which found that two of Kavanaugh's accusers were credible.

In a statement to the press, Moore defended Kavanaugh on Wednesday.

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