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Graduate Students Being Warned Away From Leaked Cables 685

Posted by timothy
from the we're-checking-your-history dept.
IamTheRealMike writes "The US State Department has started to warn potential recruits from universities not to read leaked cables, lest it jeopardize their chances of getting a job. They're also showing warnings to troops who access news websites and the Library of Congress and Department of Education have blocked WikiLeaks on their own networks. Quite what happens when these employees go home is an open question." Update: 12/04 17:48 GMT by T : The friendly warning to students specifically cautioned them not to comment online or otherwise indicate that they'd read any of the leaked information; reading them quietly wasn't specifically named as a deal-breaker.
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Graduate Students Being Warned Away From Leaked Cables

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  • Guilty much? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BigSes (1623417) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:03PM (#34439416)
    Honestly, if there is nothing to hide, why all the panic? Its like... Well, I'd think of an analogy but I'm hungry.
    • Re:Guilty much? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by immakiku (777365) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:07PM (#34439474)
      That's not a valid line of rationale with regards to privacy issues. Why should that be used now?
      • Re:Guilty much? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:10PM (#34439514)

        Probably because governments should be held accountable for their actions by their citizens and not the opposite?

        • Re:Guilty much? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Stargoat (658863) * <stargoat@gmail.com> on Friday December 03, 2010 @09:44PM (#34440380) Journal

          Bravo sir. There was a time in our Republic's history that the State Department and War Department were required to explain their actions and budget to the people and the several states. The people elected the Representatives and the states, jealous of their right to govern, elected Senators.

          But today we have a Department of Defense and direct election of Senators. No one serves the interests of the local governments, but instead all elected officials have exclusively the short term interests of their constituents in mind. There is no concern for preserving the long term interests of the Republic, but rather voting the people demand bread and circuses. (Long term unemployment benefits?)

          The impotent fury, bordering on paroxysm, of the United States' response to the released cables is astounding and concerning. It has become evident that in the 21st century, the people serve the government.

          • Re:Guilty much? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Friday December 03, 2010 @10:18PM (#34440596) Homepage Journal

            There's no connection between direct election of Senators and the growth of the modern security state. State governments have shown themselves just as eager to participate in the post-9/11 feeding frenzy as the federal government is; if they, instead of the voters, chose Senators, the Senate would have even less reason to pay attention to the outrage of the American people than it does now.

            Incidentally, there's a fine Russian word for a hierarchical system of representation, in which smaller governmental bodies choose representatives to the national government: "Soviet." Yeah, that sure helped protect the liberties of the people and the long-term interests of the republic, didn't it?

            • Re:Guilty much? (Score:5, Interesting)

              by the_womble (580291) on Saturday December 04, 2010 @01:01AM (#34441398) Homepage Journal

              So you think that the problem with that system was hierarchical representation rather then the fact that the elections were rigged? How did you come to that conclusion?

            • Re:Guilty much? (Score:5, Insightful)

              by dkf (304284) <donal.k.fellows@manchester.ac.uk> on Saturday December 04, 2010 @04:37AM (#34442102) Homepage

              Incidentally, there's a fine Russian word for a hierarchical system of representation, in which smaller governmental bodies choose representatives to the national government: "Soviet." Yeah, that sure helped protect the liberties of the people and the long-term interests of the republic, didn't it?

              Null argument. The official name of East Germany was (after translation) The German Democratic Republic. Does that mean that there's a problem with democracy? Or republics? Or just that names chosen for propaganda reasons are bunk and what matters is what happens on the ground? Hmm...

            • Re:Guilty much? (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Serious Callers Only (1022605) on Saturday December 04, 2010 @04:43AM (#34442116)

              Incidentally, there's a fine Russian word for a hierarchical system of representation, in which smaller governmental bodies choose representatives to the national government: "Soviet." Yeah, that sure helped protect the liberties of the people and the long-term interests of the republic, didn't it?

              Actually if the bolsheviks had heeded their own slogan 'all power to the soviets' instead of arrogating all power to themselves and forming a dictatorial central government (the exact opposite of the tradition of village soviets) they might have ended up with a system closer to that used in western democracies. So I don't think conflating the original meaning of soviet (local gov) and the perversion/inversion of the idea by the later Leninist and Stalinist regimes is useful for this discussion. It certainly doesn't provide any indication of whether local gov works better than centralised - if anything the soviet experience is proof that large central governments typically ossify into dictatorship.

            • Re:Guilty much? (Score:4, Insightful)

              by mallydobb (1785726) on Saturday December 04, 2010 @06:48AM (#34442484) Homepage

              The Senate was supposed to be a voice for the State in Washington, not a voice for the people. The House represents the common folk like you and me while the Senate, if it worked as it was planned, gives representation to the State itself. How can Mexico, Russia, and France have a direct line to the Federal government but Virginia, New Mexico, and Wyoming don't? The system is broken for many reasons, one of which is direct election of the Senate.

            • Re:Guilty much? (Score:5, Insightful)

              by ultranova (717540) on Saturday December 04, 2010 @10:59AM (#34443288)

              Incidentally, there's a fine Russian word for a hierarchical system of representation, in which smaller governmental bodies choose representatives to the national government: "Soviet." Yeah, that sure helped protect the liberties of the people and the long-term interests of the republic, didn't it?

              To put it bluntly: yes, it did. You are comparing Soviet Russia to a western democracy, but you should be comparing it to what preceded it: Tsarist Russia, a dictatorship which finally collapsed utterly in World War One. That Russia rose from those ruins to be the second most powerful nation in the world is nothing short miraculous.

              This rises an interesting question: if communism was tried in a country with long and firmly-rooted democratic traditions, rather than collapsed dictatorships, what would happen? What happens when you combine a planned economy with the First Amendment?

              Seeing how most revolutions are triggered by economic collapse, I suspect that we shall soon see.

          • Re:Guilty much? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Saturday December 04, 2010 @12:16AM (#34441222) Homepage Journal

            The people elected the Representatives and the states, jealous of their right to govern, elected Senators.

            I'm not sure the state legislators electing the senators had anything to do with their being "jealous of their right to govern".

            I think it had more to do with them not wanting the riff-raff to get too much power. But now that's no longer a worry, since the riff-raff seem to be so susceptible to social engineering in the form of what passes for a news media. If you have sufficient money and access to media, you can get the people to do pretty much whatever you want, including vote against their own best interests.

            Or at least you can get enough of them to do what you want. The rest you just have to persuade to stay away from the polls. In 50 years' time, historians will be studying the 2010 elections as an example of this.

          • Re:Guilty much? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by ffreeloader (1105115) on Saturday December 04, 2010 @01:28AM (#34441522) Journal

            Bravo sir. There was a time in our Republic's history that the State Department and War Department were required to explain their actions and budget to the people and the several states. The people elected the Representatives and the states, jealous of their right to govern, elected Senators.

            But today we have a Department of Defense and direct election of Senators. No one serves the interests of the local governments, but instead all elected officials have exclusively the short term interests of their constituents in mind. There is no concern for preserving the long term interests of the Republic, but rather voting the people demand bread and circuses. (Long term unemployment benefits?)

            The impotent fury, bordering on paroxysm, of the United States' response to the released cables is astounding and concerning. It has become evident that in the 21st century, the people serve the government.

            You make an interesting point about the voting of bread and circuses by our government.

            Here is what de Toqueville said would be the end of our republic:

            "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."

            . It's a fitting description of what is going on with increasing frequency and scope in our government for a long time. The Romans also fell into the same trap.

            Here's a very interesting read on what the Romans did: http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cjv14n2-7.html [cato.org]

      • Re:Guilty much? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MoonBuggy (611105) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:11PM (#34439524) Journal

        Because the government has tried to use it on us many times - throwing it back at them is just a way of helping to show their hypocrisy.

      • Re:Guilty much? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:12PM (#34439542)

        There's a difference between an individual's right to privacy and the government's need to be honest and open about its functions.

        When there's an equity of power between the State and the Individual, then the government's need for privacy becomes equal. Until then, the government does not deserve privacy as individuals do.

        ("Government" here means the collective organization as well as the individual agents that comprise that organization.)

        • Re:Guilty much? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by TFAFalcon (1839122) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:23PM (#34439662)

          Individual agents still deserve privacy, just not for things connected to their work. The public has no need to know who/what some low level bureaucrat is sleeping with, but it does need to know who/what a bible-thumping politician is sleeping with, since their morals (or lack thereof) are the main part of their job.

          • Re:Guilty much? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Aldenissin (976329) on Friday December 03, 2010 @09:02PM (#34440026)

            A person is not what they say, it is what they do. (Although speech is an action too.) No one is perfect. No one. I believe in forgiveness therefore. Someone making a mistake, whether it is sleeping with someone when they claim it is immoral, or fudging their taxes in the past even though they want to work for the government is human. But at some point, they show they completely do not want to practice what they preach, and that is when it should matter.

      • Re:Guilty much? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by GameMaster (148118) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:17PM (#34439576)

        The law is clear regarding illegal search and seizure. The idea of a right to privacy only goes one way. Citizens have a right to privacy from the government. The government has no inherent right to privacy from the citizens. In fact, you could argue that it's impossible to have a truly functional democracy without the citizens having a clear idea of what their government is really doing. If I'm kept in the dark about the details of important actions committed by my government, what hope do I have to ever make a truly informed decision when it comes time to vote?

        • by lgw (121541)

          In general I agree, but when it comes to fighting a war, the side that can keep secrets usually wins. Whereever you live, your government is the most recent group of people to conquer that land, so a government that can't keep any secrets won't remain your government for long.

          Sometimes you just need to vote for people of good character whom you trust to make the right decision based on the data that they have, and you don't. That may seem like a joke today, but I'd point out that it was only about 20 year

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by neotokyo (465238)

            Don't disagree that good character, to the best of your ability to judge is a good idea, but the whole point of elected officials and transparency is that those in power have demonstrated time and time again that we just can't trust them. The US constitution was written to enshrine this idea. We don't have to trust officials because we're in control and demand accountability through elections.

      • by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:24PM (#34439672) Homepage
        Probably because the US Government, of the people, for the people, and by the people, has no reasonable expectation of privacy. The 4th Amendment protects us from the government, not the government from us.
      • by vux984 (928602)

        That's not a valid line of rationale with regards to privacy issues. Why should that be used now?

        Exactly why it should be used now.

        Its not valid, and yet they tell us this over and over again with regards to our own privacy. Throwing it back in their face underscores just how invalid it is.

      • by fishexe (168879) on Friday December 03, 2010 @09:06PM (#34440068) Homepage
        You're right, "I'd think of an argument but I'm hungry" is never a valid line of reasoning.
    • Re:Guilty much? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by icebike (68054) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:12PM (#34439532)

      Worse yet, floating the idea you can be barred from future jobs because you read something is ridiculous.

      Nothing but a scare tactic.

      These are the bastards that should be losing their jobs, not for anything in the leaks, (nothing there that I can see except gossip), but rather for being so loose with data they seem to value so highly.

      • Re:Guilty much? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by fishbowl (7759) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:14PM (#34439556)

        Wikileaks hasn't actually released anything that the New York Times hasn't also released, with precisely the same redactions.

        So the message here is that reading the New York Times can potentially cost you a job.

        • by blair1q (305137) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:28PM (#34439718) Journal

          No, the message here is that nobody reads TFA.

        • by jayveekay (735967) on Friday December 03, 2010 @10:05PM (#34440528)

          So the message here is that reading the New York Times can potentially cost you a job.

          Sarah Palin seems to be ahead of the curve on this. Her plan to avoid reading to remain employable is paying off. You bet'cha!

          • Re:Guilty much? (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Idiomatick (976696) on Saturday December 04, 2010 @12:51PM (#34444066)
            That isn't true! Sarah Palin is more guilty than most!

            COURIC: And when it comes to establishing your world view, I was curious, what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this — to stay informed and to understand the world?
            PALIN: I’ve read most of them again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media —
            COURIC: But what ones specifically? I’m curious.
            PALIN: Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me over all these years.
            COURIC: Can you name any of them?
            PALIN: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news.
      • Re:Guilty much? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Nadaka (224565) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:19PM (#34439612)

        If you have a security clearance, you are not allowed to talk about classified materials, even if you only know of those materials from an out of channel source (the news). You are also not allowed to seek out classified material that you do not need to know. If a person has had access to classified material without authorization beforehand, it can complicate the process of gaining a security clearance.

        • Re:Guilty much? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Pharmboy (216950) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:32PM (#34439760) Journal

          As someone who has gone through the process of getting a top tier TS clearance, I can say that what you are saying is a nice theory, but that is all. Under normal circumstances, it would have a minimal impact, if any, on getting a security clearance. (You have civilians who are already privy to classified info, etc. and get further clearances...) The primary concerns of the government when granting a clearance are not about what you know, they are "have you ever done anything that you can be blackmailed for in your past" and "can you keep a secret and follow orders to not even tell your spouse". This DSS (was DIS) criteria isn't new or secret. It is all about insuring that future information you would have access to can't be obtained through you by manipulation or threat.

          What the government is doing is a form of censorship after the fact. They can't stop the information from flowing, but they can use FUD to scare their loyal employees from reading it, lowering morale, etc. It is despicable and very possibly illegal, all under the guise of "well, we don't want it to prevent you from getting a job, [wink, wink]. It is a thinly veiled threat.

          • What happens when our government is in violation of our constitution?

            Who will hold the law makers accountable?

            • Re:Guilty much? (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Pharmboy (216950) on Friday December 03, 2010 @09:27PM (#34440272) Journal

              What happens when our government is in violation of our constitution? Who will hold the law makers accountable?

              Usually, the voters, unless they exceed their boundaries, which they are trying to do. The Founding Fathers anticipated that, which is why the 2nd Amendment was created. Not as a final solution, but to limit the government's ability (and willingness) to get to a worst case scenario. And in the unlikely worst case scenario, as a final solution.

              People might say "oh, the military has tanks and missiles, your little AR-15 isn't going to stop anything", but those are operated by young, freedom loving people like you and I. The only *really* dangerous people in government are the lifetime bureaucrats (civilian and military) at the top, who are very far removed from the average person. Fortunately, we outnumber them by hundreds of thousands to one. I may have little faith in our government, but I have a lot of faith in the average American.

              Same reason I would feel safer on an airplane full of bikers than in one full of TSA agents.

      • Re:Guilty much? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by grcumb (781340) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:26PM (#34439686) Homepage Journal

        Worse yet, floating the idea you can be barred from future jobs because you read something is ridiculous.

        Worse, they're warning people away from the only body of information that could tell them anything useful about the practical aspects of their future job.

        "We will only hire you if you demonstrate the ability to ignore overwhelming evidence that the world is not as we say it is."

        (Actually, given the US Government's performance recently, that statement is starting to make sense....)

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by easyTree (1042254)

          It's nice to see the government invoke the Streisand Effect [wikipedia.org].

      • Re:Guilty much? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hackus (159037) on Friday December 03, 2010 @09:46PM (#34440396) Homepage

        You haven't seen anything yet.

        We are only in the first phase of the greatest depression of all time.

        For something this big to come around, it is going to come in many stages and will take years to fulfill itself.

        You still have time to prepare, but time is running out. Once the new world war starts it will be too late.

        But by that time, the US will be under unimaginable Tyranny because everyone here is asleep.

        You won't be able to go to the street corner without your balls/breast being squeezed with an M16 pointing at you.

        Maybe people will wake up by then, but it will be too late anyway.

        -Hack

    • Re:Guilty much? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MoonBuggy (611105) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:14PM (#34439552) Journal

      Even if there is something to hide (and let's face it, there always will be - that's not necessarily a bad thing), it surprises me that the government wants their potential employees to be less informed than the general public. The cat is out of the bag, surely it makes more sense to inform oneself as much as possible rather than looking for the earplugs and humming loudly.

      • Re:Guilty much? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Main Gauche (881147) on Friday December 03, 2010 @09:03PM (#34440038)

        it surprises me that the government wants their potential employees to be less informed than the general public.

        And as it turns out, that is not the case at all. Imagine that, a completely misleading summary on slashdot.

        Summary says: :The US State Dept has started to warn potential recruits from universities not to read leaked cables,"

        TFA says: Columbia University career services got a recommendation from an alumnus that if you want a job with the State Dept, he recommends
        "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."

        So,
        (1) This is not official policy; it is an alumnus giving personal advice to undergrads at his alma mater.
        (2) It has nothing to do with reading/not reading wikileaks.

        I really have to spend less time reading /. summaries.

    • Not why... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Penguinisto (415985) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:18PM (#34439586) Journal

      They said to not post about it in Facebook and the like. The reason why is more self-protection for the students who may want or need a security clearance later on.

      If you've ever had to get a higher-end security clearance (I've had them both in the military and as a civilian), you would know just how anal and frustratingly detailed the FBI and DSA can get when it comes to investigating your background (interesting tidbit - if you have a debt that's more than 180 days past due - for any reason, even if you didn't know about it, you get denied. I had a former co-worker get his clearance initially rejected because he never saw the $20.odd account closing fee sent by an old cell phone company to his old address).

      As crazy as the investigations can get, coupled with the government's ability to dredge through your online presence over the years, it's common-sense to not go around spouting off about things that the government is obviously going to be sensitive about if you ever expect to work for them in a sensitive role at some point in the future.

      • by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:36PM (#34439780) Homepage

        ""As crazy as the investigations can get, coupled with the government's ability to dredge through your online presence over the years, it's common-sense to not go around spouting off about things that the government is obviously going to be sensitive about if you ever expect to work for them in a sensitive role at some point in the future."

        It sound like to CIA, FBI and friends won't be around for much longer, since there is probably not a potential young adult in the US who hasn't been tweeting and posting plenty of stuff they themselves will be embarrassed by in a few years. (obviously I am being facetious; they aren't going to go away, but they will have to evolve and change their criteria to survive)

    • Re:Guilty much? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Dan East (318230) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:26PM (#34439692) Homepage Journal

      Who's panicking? Did you even look at the source for the "The US State Dept has started to warn potential recruits"? This is one of the most blatantly false things I've seen at Slashdot in a while. The source is an Arab blog which says that a State Dept employee sent a message to his Alumni recommending they do not post links to or otherwise comment on the documents online. This is not official, and it was one anonymous recommendation to a small group of people the employee felt he should give advice to.

      • All persons belonging to organizations are assumed to speak for the entire organization. Also, all quotes in blogs are assumed to reflect what the quoted person actually said, even when two blogs contradict each other on what the person said (both are true, cognitive dissonance be damned!!).
    • Re:Guilty much? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kiwimate (458274) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:42PM (#34439842) Journal

      I'm not sure quite why this got marked insightful.

      Isn't the whole point that the government is contending there is something to hide, hence the big fuss? Look at it for a moment from the government's point of view:

      • there is something to hide
      • therefore the exposure of these cables into a public arena is a big problem
      • therefore from their point of view if you want to get a job with them (possibly being exposed to secrets) and it gets turned up that you deliberately went about accessing these documents then it's going to look unwise on your part.

      From that point of view, it seems a fairly judicious warning to float to someone who may be interested in such a sensitive position.

  • by jlechem (613317) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:04PM (#34439426) Homepage Journal

    "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers. "

    Seriously treat the problem, don't go shooting the messenger.

    • by Starteck81 (917280) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:11PM (#34439522)

      "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers. "

      Seriously treat the problem, don't go shooting the messenger.

      That's not even shooting the messenger. That's shooting the recipient.

    • by Motard (1553251)

      Right. Here's how easy it would be...

      If Wikileaks was delivering Justin Bieber songs, they'd be shut down. But they're, um, just dumping government secrets.

      Imagine if government secrets had the protection that Justin Bieber songs enjoy. That is to say, the government has the same copyright rights as Justin Bieber with regard to documents deemed secret.

      Somehow, I don't find that unreasonable.

      http://carbertscurrentevents.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

    • by fishexe (168879) on Friday December 03, 2010 @09:26PM (#34440264) Homepage

      "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers. "

      Seriously treat the problem, don't go shooting the messenger.

      Can we shoot the guy who uses Star Wars quotes indiscriminately?

  • by guspasho (941623) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:04PM (#34439428)

    Now I want all of these cables specifically because I read the summary. Where can I find them? Are they on The Pirate Bay yet?

  • Next step.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dcl (680528) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:04PM (#34439436)

    Seems like the cables might be a good excuse to implement full legal media censorship.

  • by lga (172042) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:05PM (#34439446) Homepage Journal

    In soviet America, government threaten you! No, err, that seems wrong...

  • by EnglishTim (9662) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:06PM (#34439458)

    The mail doesn't say anything about not reading them, just not posting about them.

    I guess they're saying "Don't leave any evidence that you read them"...

  • by Swanktastic (109747) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:07PM (#34439484)

    The email (from an alum acting in a non-official role) warns not to make posts about this on Facebook, Twitter, etc. It didn't say "Don't read them." It's really nowhere near as crazy or interesting as the submitter wishes it were.

    • by AdmiralXyz (1378985) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:27PM (#34439700)
      What the hell, I have karma to burn.

      On top of what you said, even though I support Wikileaks' release of the cables, the State Department's rationale makes perfect sense to me: if you go posting these (still considered classified) documents all over your friends' walls, what does that say about your ability to handle classified information? Even if you don't believe in the State Department's right to keep secrets- and again, I'm not saying I do- from their point of view they do, and so for them to hire someone demonstrating a casual disregard for data secrecy would just be stupid.

      In other words, no, it's not the Thought Police, it's responsible hiring. Stand down from Red Alert, Number One.
      • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:58PM (#34439994)

        if you go posting these (still considered classified) documents all over your friends' walls, what does that say about your ability to handle classified information?

        Nothing at all, actually:

        1. Graduate students are not under orders to keep government secrets secret.
        2. The information was already released by someone else, there is no secret to keep.
      • by c0lo (1497653)

        Even if you don't believe in the State Department's right to keep secrets- and again, I'm not saying I do- from their point of view they do, and so for them to hire someone demonstrating a casual disregard for data secrecy would just be stupid.

        The more the time passed, the more is about "us and them". Actually, govt against citizens, in the open: "if we -the govt - cannot trust you, you are with the citizens, not with the govt".

        Yes, I realize it already was like this, the only difference: now it is in the open, no isolated on some obscure site/page about what can jeopardize your security clearance.

  • Well, kind of (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Amorymeltzer (1213818) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:12PM (#34439528)

    Before we all blow up, the warning was from one alum to their alma mater, and was suggesting not to post links to cables and WL on facebook, twitter, etc. because "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" which, honestly, is pretty reasonable. If the State Department is deciding between equally-qualified five candidates, and three have indicated they sympathize with WL, well then the choice is down to two. Just like companies looking at your pictures on facebook before hiring. It sucks but it's true - be responsible with what you say about yourself.

  • They are deliberately seeking out uncurious and deliberately ignorant people to work for them, as being uncurious and maintaining deliberate ignorance is considered a sign of loyalty.

    When you deliberately avoid the best and brightest because you don't trust them to be loyal to you, and deliberately make your institutions stupid, you are a dead country walking.

    • by erroneus (253617)

      Well said. I wish I could mod you +10

      The reaction of all world governments is not within the window of sensible. If they want to keep things as they were, the best thing they could do is acknowledge and then stop talking about it. People will believe what they want to believe regardless of any facts and new information presented. Streissand effect is a lesson never learned it seems. Denial and suppression is probably the most convincing evidence that it's all true and accurate.

      Our (I'm a US Citizen) doe

  • by Dr. Spork (142693) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:19PM (#34439596)
    If I studied political science, international relations or even history, I would definitely be all over these leaks. I can't think of a better source of lessons on how international politics really functions. It may be harder to read than a textbook, but it's real and raw and recent. In fact, if I were a professor of international politics, I'd consider throwing together a graduate seminar where the wikileaks are the primary assigned reading. The government warning would give me pause, and it would be a dealbreaker for my university. But that wouldn't make such a seminar any less good. Why deny American graduate students this understanding, and leave that treasure trove of information to foreign graduate students?
  • To Quote "1984" (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TravisHein (981987) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:22PM (#34439648)
    "It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself--anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face...; was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime..." - George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 5
  • by topham (32406) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:31PM (#34439748) Homepage

    Just keep shoving the toothpaste back into the tube

  • DoD as well (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:34PM (#34439774)

    No big surprize, but the DoD is doing this as well. Ironically, I don't think it's having the effect they wanted; at least one of my coworkers asked me if I knew what wikileaks was, and I told her it was the digital equivalent of the Pentagon Papers. [wikipedia.org]. Needless to say, I can almost guarantee she looked up wikileaks at home that night. All I can say is, if they want to turn away job applicants who are curious, inquisitive and willing to do research on their own time, they will reap what they sow.

  • Wait... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Locke2005 (849178) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:41PM (#34439834)
    Does this mean that anybody that reads the cables is ineligible for the draft? Where do I get my copies?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:51PM (#34439934)

    and I have been specifically told by our gov't security folks that if I access Wikileaks (either via my work computer or my home computer) I will lose my security clearance. I can understand them making a rule not to view it at work and taking away someone's clearance if they do it anyway, but I really don't see how they can legally take away someone's clearance for looking at a website on their home computer that basically ever major news outlet has shown screenshots of.

  • PRCesque (Score:5, Insightful)

    by knapper_tech (813569) on Friday December 03, 2010 @08:54PM (#34439968)
    I don't want to live in China. Whether wikileaks is good, bad, right, wrong, or ugly, if we endorse the self-protectionist nature of the PRC govornment domestically and internationally, if we deny the truth in intellectualism in our graduate schools, then we have ourselves fearfully denied the truth of human nature to seek improvement through understanding and expansion through creativity.

    That societies and the global community will have difficulty digesting the recent events does not mean that we shouldn't learn to cope with what is merely a more true revelation of where our mutual interests exist and where our relationships are perhaps thinner than we believe ourselves capable of addressing.
  • by bmearns (1691628) on Friday December 03, 2010 @09:06PM (#34440060)
    Sounds a lot like the Church of Scientology's warnings against it's low level parishoners against listening to leaked CoS documents, lest it corrupt their unconditioned minds.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, 2010 @09:09PM (#34440112)

    which is affiliated with SLAC, an academic research DOE lab that is run by my university. We were just warned about accessing wikileaks using government resources. I wonder why they haven't warned against accessing news sources who have published the cables? The email follows:

    To: SLAC Staff and Community
    Subject: Do Not Access wikileaks.org Using Government Resources

    The Department of Energy has determined that anyone using a DOE resource to access wikileaks.org poses a serious security risk. An extract from an official DOE communication is included here:

    -----
    Any users navigating to wikileaks.org will pose a serious risk of introducing classified information to an unclassified machine. Clem Boylston, CISO for the Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence sent out a note to the community stating, “Any document that is on an Internet web site that is purported to be classified cannot be downloaded to an unclassified computer system without contaminating the unclassified computer system (i.e., a spill).” In this case, “downloaded” would not only mean the actual process of saving it to the hard drive, but also the simple case of viewing it as the information is cached on the local machine when doing so.

    Anyone using their DOE computer to view the purported classified information posted on the website would merit involvement to the appropriate DOE authorities for a full review and analysis of severity
    -----

    Accordingly, no SLAC resource (i.e., computer, network, VPN, SLAC wireless) may be used to access or assist in accessing wikileaks.org by any SLAC staff member or visitor.

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