The big chill: read WikiLeaks, go to jail

Did you happen to read any of the leaked classified reports made public by Wikileaks? Well, if you lack the proper security clearance, you’re a criminal according to the Air Force. Air Force personnel were informed that if they or their family members access WikiLeaks on a government or personal computer it would “subject the violator to prosecution for violation of espionage under the Espionage Act.”

The memo also reads as if the Air Force could ban personnel from accessing U.S. news websites that published any of the classified material.

Within AFMC, and across the Air Force, the WikiLeaks site has been blocked to protect the network. Other sites discovered to be posting the leaked information have also been blocked.

(h/t Politico)

This development adds some more context to a story that aired today on Morning Edition about differing schools of thought over using the leaked diplomatic cables. In educating future diplomats some professors believe the content is more valuable than any single textbook. Others say it puts the students at risk and a potential disadvantage when it comes to getting a job with the State Department.

Is there a security interest served by keeping students and military personnel away from information that anyone with internet access can view?

  • John P.

    “Is there a security interest served … ”

    No. If there is, I can’t imagine what it would be. Silly reactionary nonsense.

  • Jim Shapiro

    An absurd ruling, but not inconsistent with the military mindset.

  • Heather

    I’m pretty sure it’s not better to be ignorant of what anyone can learn.

  • bsimon

    They’re closing the barn door after the horse has escaped.