Quantcast
Connect with us

Students warned: Read WikiLeaks and you’re out of a government job

Published

on

Graduate students at US universities are being warned not to read or post links to WikiLeaks documents, or they could be denied work with the US government.

Several news reports suggest the State Department has been warning university departments that students could fail security screening if they are seen to discuss or post links to WikiLeaks documents on social networking sites. The US government considers the leaked material to be classified, even after public release.

ADVERTISEMENT

AboveTheLaw.com has obtained a letter from the career development dean of the Boston University School of Law warning students to stay away from WikiLeaks material.

Today I received information about Wikileaks that I want to pass on to you. This is most relevant if you are going to apply for or have already applied for federal government positions. Two big factors in hiring for many federal government positions are determining if the applicants have good judgment and if they know how to deal with confidential/classified information. The documents released by Wikileaks remain classified; thus, reading them, passing them on, commenting on them may be seen as a violation of Executive Order 13526, Classified National Security Information. See Section 5.5 (Sanctions).

For many federal government jobs, applicants must obtain security clearances. There are various levels of security checks, but all federal positions require background checks. As part of such checks, social media may be researched to see what you are up to, so DO NOT post links to the documents or make comments on any social media sites. Moreover, polygraphs are conducted for the highest levels of security clearance.

I have not yet heard any fallout about specific individuals, but we wanted to give you this take on the situation.

Maura Kelly
Assistant Dean for Career Development and Public Service

DemocracyNow’s Amy Goodman obtained a copy of a similar letter sent by the office of career services at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

“The documents released during the past few months through Wikileaks are still considered classified documents. [A State Department official] recommends that you DO NOT post links to these documents nor make comments on social media sites such as Facebook or through Twitter. Engaging in these activities would call into question your ability to deal with confidential information, which is part of most positions with the federal government,” the letter stated.

Susie Madrak at Crooks and Liars likens the US government’s efforts to prevent federal employees and prospective employees from reading the leaks to a game of “whack-a-mole,” a view shared by AboveTheLaw’s Elie Mystal:

ADVERTISEMENT

Basically, I don’t think the federal government is even competent enough to find all the Wikileaks readers and blacklist them from the federal payroll. I mean, if the FBI or CIA or whatever really was the kind of omnipresent force idealized in movies, tell me how Julian Assange is still alive, much less in a position to publish thousands of confidential documents.

The news comes as the US government has been placing pressure on its employees to stay away from the leaks.

“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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Reporting on the government’s efforts to stop employees from reading the leaked materials, the New York Times describes it as “a classic case of shutting the barn door after the horse has left.”

With AFP


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Latest Headlines

Celebrity, money and power: TVs obsession with the Murdoch family dynasty

Published

on

Of all the words written about Rupert Murdoch, “boring” is not one of them. The media mogul has been the object of fascination for six decades, after he followed his father Sir Keith in to the newspaper business.

Family dynasties in newspapers are not new – there were the Harmsworths in the UK; the Hearsts, Grahams and Sulzbergers in the USA; and the Packers and Fairfaxes as well as the Murdochs in Australia.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Scientists alarmed as Trump hints at an October vaccine surprise

Published

on

President Donald Trump, who seems intent on announcing a COVID-19 vaccine before Election Day, could legally authorize a vaccine over the objections of experts, officials at the Food and Drug Administration and even vaccine manufacturers, who have pledged not to release any vaccine unless it’s proved safe and effective.

Continue Reading
 

COVID-19

Trump gives himself ‘A+’ on COVID-19 response as US death toll hits grim 200,000 milestone

Published

on

"Trump and his cowardly enablers, they all have blood on their hands," said an activist who lost his father to Covid-19.

As the U.S. Covid-19 death toll was all but certain to hit 200,000 on Monday with the virus still taking the lives of nearly 1,000 Americans each day, President Donald Trump told Fox News that he would give himself a perfect grade for his handling of a pandemic that has infected more than 6.8 million people across the country, permanently eliminated millions of jobs, and destroyed countless livelihoods.

Continue Reading
 
 
Democracy is in peril. Invest in progressive news. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free. LEARN MORE