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Graduate Students Being Warned Away From Leaked Cables

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the we're-checking-your-history dept.

Censorship 685

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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Guilty much? (5, Insightful)

BigSes (1623417) | more than 3 years ago | (#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? (4, Insightful)

immakiku (777365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439474)

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

Re:Guilty much? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34439514)

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

Re:Guilty much? (5, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439524)

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? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#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? (3, Insightful)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | more than 3 years ago | (#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? (5, Insightful)

GameMaster (148118) | more than 3 years ago | (#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?

Re:Guilty much? (0, Troll)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439720)

The idea of a right to privacy only goes one way.

True.

Citizens have a right to privacy from the government. The government has no inherent right to privacy from the citizens.

I think you've got that backwards.

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?

Don't worry about, politicians aren't truthful about their intentions or what they're capable of when they run for office. That means democracy is doomed to fail regardless of whether or not they manage keep secrets from you.

Welcome to Elementary School Civics w/ Mr. Kelvin (5, Insightful)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439672)

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.

Re:Guilty much? (2)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439678)

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.

Re:Guilty much? (5, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#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? (5, Interesting)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Guilty much? (5, Funny)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439718)

No, the message here is that nobody reads TFA.

Re:Guilty much? (5, Informative)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#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? (2, Informative)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439676)

What part of Main stream press do you not understand?

To be fair, the linked story only said they should nor link to these documents or post them. That seems fair enough, as anyone with a facebook page can't be trusted with secrets anyway.

It didn't say that they should not READ the documents.

Security clearances are about what you DO with information, not about how you come by it.

Re:Guilty much? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34439776)

I'm retired military, now working as a government contractor with a security clearance. We were specifically told not to read the documents and not to visit the Wikileaks site, even from our home computer.

Re:Guilty much? (5, Interesting)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439760)

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.

Re:Guilty much? (5, Insightful)

grcumb (781340) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439686)

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:Guilty much? (5, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439552)

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.

Not why... (5, Informative)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439586)

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.

Start the countdown clock (5, Insightful)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439780)

""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)

It wasn't even this bad in Communist Poland. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34439590)

I grew up in Communist Poland from the 1950s to the 1970s. Censorship was a very prevalent phenomenon. But it was never as bad as what we're seeing today in America.

Rarely did we see the state-run libraries outright blocking access to controversial information. They would provide fabricated material, of course, but other content was easily available for those who dug a little bit.

It is completely absurd to see what should be the most prominent purveyors of information of all sorts, especially in a country that claims to value freedoms so much, putting so much effort towards blocking the spread of information!

I just heard this... (2)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439634)

I just heard the same story from someone who works in government; they've been warned not to discuss anything leaked by wikileaks, even to each other, because nonauthorized disclosure of classified or secret information doesn't make the information unclassified. (OR so they've been told--I don't have time to check the law at the moment. It would be an interesting court case.)

Re:Guilty much? (4, Informative)

Dan East (318230) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439692)

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.

To Quote Star Wars (4, Funny)

jlechem (613317) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439426)

"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.

Re:To Quote Star Wars (1)

multisync (218450) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439520)

No kidding. It would make me happy if graduate students collectively told the State Dept. to STFU.

Re:To Quote Star Wars (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439664)

Well maybe not the ones this would specifically apply to. Quoting

We received a call today from a SIPA alumnus who is working at the State Department. He asked us to pass along the following information to anyone who will be applying for jobs in the federal government, since all would require a background investigation and in some instances a security clearance.

If you're going to be working for the federal government, or specifically the state department, I don't know, maybe they want to make sure you're a "team player" and trust the state department enough to know what you should and should not be looking at. Which would STILL idiotic, but not unexpected.

Anyway, I'm not sure this is the state department saying "Don't look at it, grad students," this sounds like it could just be some grunt trying to look like he doesn't just get coffee for people. Could be an idiotic individual in the state department just trying to be proactive. Could be a hoax.

I should try e-mailing schools posing as an alum letting them know that female students looking for government jobs should send nude pictures of themselves to this address so they'll have something to compare to the backscatter scanners to speed up the screening process...

Re:To Quote Star Wars (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439702)

So that, what, the State Dept would have to start hiring lesser-qualified people to work on foreign relations?

Is that supposed to help?

Re:To Quote Star Wars (5, Insightful)

Starteck81 (917280) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:To Quote Star Wars (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439642)

Wikileaks is the recipient too.

Oh hell, a loop.

Re:To Quote Star Wars (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439684)

I forget. Was that before or after he blew up her planet?

Streisand effect obviously (2, Interesting)

guspasho (941623) | more than 3 years ago | (#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?

Re:Streisand effect obviously (4, Informative)

guspasho (941623) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439476)

Here is Wikileaks' own torrent of the cables. http://file.wikileaks.org/torrent/cablegate/cablegate-201012031001.7z.torrent [wikileaks.org]

Spread them far and wide. Fight the bastards.

Re:Streisand effect obviously (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439682)

well that's currently down, so try the link at the bottom of this page [wikileaks.nl] .

Re:Streisand effect obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34439568)

You may get them through a magnet link: magnet:?xt=urn:btih:TST5DVP7X5ZMHZEVT3ABM4D2PGKW7POX

Download anomos:
http://anomos.info/wp/

https://pubze.ro/local/82326E404E2F22A02089F473733CE0881394B3CC.atorrent

Re:Streisand effect obviously (1)

lga (172042) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439638)

Your best source is The Guardian [guardian.co.uk] in the UK. They have stuff that US papers don't.

Frosty piss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34439434)

I would have been faster but i was busy killing innocent terrorists because I'm American and thus inherently evil

Next step.. (5, Insightful)

dcl (680528) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439436)

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

Re:Next step.. (0, Flamebait)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439496)

Good, shut FOX down and be done with that shit network.

Land of the Free (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34439438)

Where reading newspapers can jeopardize your job prospects.

ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34439440)

one step in the direction of china, yay!

Land of the free (2)

lga (172042) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439446)

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

land of the freaked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34439652)

In fascist America, government threatens you! No, err, that seems wrong...

Fix a typo fer ya.

I'm trying to understand (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439452)

What I'm trying to figure out is how a "potential employer" or whoever will know what I have and have not read.

Re:I'm trying to understand (5, Interesting)

lewko (195646) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439472)

Why don't you think about who that "potential employer" is and the kind of access to information that they have.

Will ringing sex lines stop you getting a job at Walmart? No. Would it leave you open to compromise in a highly senstiive government position? Yes.

Re:I'm trying to understand (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439658)

Why don't you think about who that "potential employer" is and the kind of access to information that they have.

Will ringing sex lines stop you getting a job at Walmart? No. Would it leave you open to compromise in a highly senstiive government position? Yes.

Theoretically, it will only compromise you if you lie about it. I know a lot of people with security clearances who are "adventurous".

Re:I'm trying to understand (3, Funny)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439758)

That's why I only call my mom's sex line. She won't rat me out.

Re:I'm trying to understand (1)

morcego (260031) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439482)

You must be new here ...

Let the conspiracy theories begin ....

Re:I'm trying to understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34439510)

Perhaps this notice is friendly warning that the polygraph examinations for applicants will ask questions about viewing leaked state secrets.

Re:I'm trying to understand (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439572)

If you can't lie through a polygraph test you have no business working in a security role.

Re:I'm trying to understand (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439598)

They no longer use them in the FBI or CIA — They are phony and never work.

If the potential employer uses a polygraph, they may as well do a tasseography too, for good measure.

Re:I'm trying to understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34439536)

Just wait until the late stages of the pre-singularity; where the Dollhouse scenarios occur.

Re:I'm trying to understand (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439688)

What I'm trying to figure out is how a "potential employer" or whoever will know what I have and have not read.

They tell you a secret, and if it shows up in wikileaks, they know it was you and you read wikileaks.

Stupid summary - warned not to *post* about them. (5, Informative)

EnglishTim (9662) | more than 3 years ago | (#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"...

Too late? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439608)

Uhm, I am a grad student, and I will say it right now: I have sent links to articles about the cables, and even to Wikileaks' statement on the cables, to plenty of people. If sending a link to data that is already available to the world is cause to bar me from government work, then I guess I won't be working for the US government.

These are not the leaks you are looking for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34439460)

Nothing to see here, move along.

The tubes are clogged with cables! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34439466)

Back to the pidgeon stack...

Good grief (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34439478)

This is getting creepier by the second. And whatever happened to the ever-so-popular "if you've done nothing wrong, you've got nothing to hide"??

I guess they answered that (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439540)

if you've done nothing wrong, you've got nothing to hide

Then by corollary, they done something wrong. Read harder...

Re:Good grief (2)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439600)

It's been superseded by "if you have no warrant, I can hide anything I want."

This sorta makes sense... (5, Insightful)

Swanktastic (109747) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:This sorta makes sense... (4, Insightful)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:This sorta makes sense... (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439722)

It is pretty crazy that posting links to publicly available information could threaten your employment opportunities...

If you know too much, you will dispatched.. (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439488)

I saw a weird Outer Limits on that... Oh well, another shot at knowledge and curiosity... Ignorance is strength and bliss...bla bla bla

Re:If you know too much, you will dispatched.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34439516)

> I saw a weird Outer Limits

Isn't that kind of the point? :/

Yay. Let's all bash America. (-1, Troll)

lewko (195646) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439500)

Isn't it great, that threads like this can turn into open season on America and everyone can bash the shit out of the USA.

Whereas, even the contents of the Wikileaks (itself a very anti-American biased group) files show how fucked up the rest of the world is, and especially the Arab countries and North Korea.

But let's ignore that and continue to blame Bush. Err... I mean the US.

Re:Yay. Let's all bash America. (5, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439570)

Isn't it great, that threads like this can turn into open season on America and everyone can bash the shit out of the USA.

I don't live in other countries nor do I really care what they do to their people. I do, however, live in the US and believe that we are a free nation which based in our past history should be held to a much higher standard than Arab countries and North Korea (per your chosen examples).

The people of this country have the power and we should be the ones standing up to the government when they do things that are NOT aligned with what this country is supposed to stand for. Honestly the documents provided by WikiLeaks are nothing exciting to me. All countries do shady shit behind closed doors but what is shocking is the bullshit response to it.

I'm sorry but the reaction is not acceptable and all congressmen and senators who are condemning this by suggesting death should be put to death themselves.

Re:Yay. Let's all bash America. (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439614)

OK, let's say something nice about America ...

"Selecting for the uncurious and deliberately ignorant will ensure continued world domination."

Is that enough? Oh, I forgot:

"U-S-A! U-S-A!"

There, never say I don't do anything for you. Special relationship, don't you know!

When America does wrong, we bash it (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439660)

When the state department is threatening graduate students' free speech rights, yeah, it is time to bash America. We bash China for doing that sort of thing to its citizens, so why is America exempt?

Re:Yay. Let's all bash America. (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439716)

I don't see any US bashing here. I see a little bashing of idiots within the government of the united states. Totally separate, like how I can say that I disagree with many things Bush did and disagree with many things Obama is doing, but that doesn't make me racist against white and black people.

Re:Yay. Let's all bash America. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34439734)

This is exactly the time to bash "America". For starters, fucking learn what country you in. You are in the United States of America, not America. Now that your Geography lesson of the day is out of the way, let's continue:
If you do not respect the sacrifices made by your ancestors for the freedom you enjoy today, you will lose it. You don't deserve it, you are scum.
Since you do not respect the freedom of speech so many people died for, tomorrow you live in a fascist state. Get used to being called a supporter of fascism, because that's what you are.
Finally, there are any number of legal precedents that you and yours, your lovely ignorant kin, pressed onto this country, losing hundreds of years of gained ground since Britain had a king that could do whatever the fuck he wanted to, to anyone he fucking wanted to do it to. Now you want a dictator, you want your Congress burned to the ground, and guess what you're fucking going to get.

Well done ! (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439502)

Leaked cables are double-plus ungood.

Silly (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439506)

All they are doing is giving everyone a clothes roller now that the cat is out of the bag. The hair of the dog will still come back to haunt them.

I just look at them from the free wifi at the coff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34439526)

I just look at them from the free wifi at the coffee shop.

Well, kind of (5, Insightful)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Well, kind of (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439588)

It sounds like the kind of employer where having an ounce of Personality will disqualify you anyway. I have a hard time seeing the problem.

Re:Well, kind of (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439706)

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.

The problem with that assertion is that it's wrong. I'm not being paid to maintain a professional demeanor that would require me to withhold comment on Wikileaks and their activities. I've worked for many companies before and I don't break NDAs. Yet publicly commenting on public information somehow calls into question my ability to deal with confidential information? That's nonsense.

Common Sense (1)

PTBarnum (233319) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439538)

So the state department wants to hire people who are not motivated to seek out information? Oh wait, that's not what TFA says. The state department wants to hire people who know better than to _comment_ on the documents. This is just a special case of what should be common sense: if you want to work for a given company or agency, don't be seen publicly discussing that entity's dirty laundry.

Everything I need to know about democracy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34439546)

I learned from Benito Mussolini?! Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. 21st Century translation... don't pollute your mind or we will find out!

Ummm..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34439562)

What a dumb thing to do. They just end up looking pathetic. If they try to forbid people to look at this stuff all it does is encourage people to do the exact opposite. Mind you, this still isn't as embarrassing as that "freedom fires" & "patriot toast" episode which was almost as bad as Sarah Palin.

Well, that about wraps it up for the US (5, Insightful)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439566)

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.

Re:Well, that about wraps it up for the US (0)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439624)

No, they're seeking out people who follow the law, not people who react to illegal activity by joining in.

Re:Well, that about wraps it up for the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34439712)

Some people would rather follow justice than the law.

Re:Well, that about wraps it up for the US (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439740)

They can get jobs as public defenders.

The people who follow the law can get jobs in the foreign service.

Re:Well, that about wraps it up for the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34439754)

I suggest you learn the law, troll. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Times_Co._v._United_States

Dear Uncle Sam... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34439582)

...FUCK YOU and your jack booted, Waco killing, gate raping, false rape/drug accusing setups to get your own way, THUGS!!

Other than that, I love my country and wouldn't trade it for anyplace else.

Please don't shoot me...thanks

your loyal citizen

That's just messed up (5, Interesting)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 3 years ago | (#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?

Interesting Times (1)

harrytuttle777 (1720146) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439604)

Growing up reading 1984, I always fantasized about being Winston Smith. I wondered what I would do if I were placed in that situation. Now thanks to my government I can finally live out my fantasies. I just want to give a hearty Thank You to Ms Clinton. You have helped make my dreams become a reality.

On a more somber tome, I would ask anyone living in the USA, to please turn off the Red socks game and study up on Rome in the second century A.D. The parallels are uncanny.

-Thanks

-It is not sufficient that I succeed — all others must fail.
-Mother Theressa.

But the material is in the public domain (2)

accessbob (962147) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439610)

Maybe it shouldn't be, but it is.

Allowing America's enemies access to the content, but not its own citizens, is madness.

That just says "Be ashamed, we certainly are".

Re:But the material is in the public domain (1)

olsmeister (1488789) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439656)

Just because it is on the internet does not mean it is in the public domain.

"We're through the looking glass people!!!" (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439616)

we're screwed.

Where does it say... (1)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439618)

..."Don't read the cables"? It says "Don't take part in disseminating them."

rj

bogus summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34439646)

The warning very specifically says: "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".

It does NOT say "do not read".

It also gives a reason: "Engaging in these activities would call into question your ability to deal with confidential information".

Whether or not the documents are effectively no longer confidential is beside the point. The point is whether or not you will babble about information that has not been officially released.

For example: your younger sister told your cousin that she is pregnant; your cousin told you aunt and uncle; and your uncle told you. That doesn't mean that you should comment about the pregnancy to your sister, or to your parents.

If you have a job handling confidential information, you must be discreet in how you handle it, even if you think that it is common knowledge. If you do not have such discretion, you are not a good candidate for such a job.

It is well known that in China, people go to prison for many years for telling foreigners information that is widely and publicly-known. What is less well-known is that this is the case in many other countries, including some that would surprise you (e.g., the UK). Before you go badmouthing the USA, you ought to know what it is like elsewhere in the world.

To Quote "1984" (5, Interesting)

TravisHein (981987) | more than 3 years ago | (#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

Just keep shoving the toothpaste into the tube (3, Insightful)

topham (32406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439748)

Just keep shoving the toothpaste back into the tube

fo reals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34439764)

Ah, just another beautiful blue sky day in China. Wait, where am I?

the us is the new china (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34439768)

O my god, the US is turning into a China type country.

DoD as well (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

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