US Government to Workers: No Reading Leaked Docs!

Plus, State Dept. official gives similar warning to university students
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2010 2:02 PM CST
In this Nov. 4, 2010 file photo, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange speaks during a news conference at the Geneva press club, in Geneva, Switzerland.   (AP Photo/Keystone, Martial Trezzini, File)

(Newser) – Despite the fact that many diplomatic cables and other classified documents have already been public and easily accessible for a week thanks to WikiLeaks, the government is ordering federal employees not to read them. “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," reads the notice distributed Friday, according to the New York Times.

Employees are not prohibited from reading news articles about the cables, but employees who already "accidentally" downloaded any of the documents themselves are asked to notify their "information security offices." WikiLeaks has been mocking the move on Twitter, with posts such as, "Digital McCarthyism: US Military Tries to Intimidate Soldiers Into Not Reading WikiLeaks." In similarly paranoid news, a State Department official and Columbia University alum warned Columbia students that talking about the leaked documents or linking to WikiLeaks on social networking profiles could jeopardize their chances at getting a government job, the Huffington Post reports. For more on that or to read the memo in full, click here.

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