December 16, 2010

Sites Posting Wikileaks Documents Blocked By Air Force

The United States Air Force has blocked its workforce from visiting and viewing 25 media websites that published secret documents released by Wikileaks, a Pentagon spokesman said on Wednesday.

The move means that all computers used by Air Force employees would not be allowed to access the news sites, including the New York Times, The Guardian, and others that have posted the cables online, spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan told AFP.

The decision by the 24th Air Force -- responsible for cyber warfare and security -- was taken because the classified information was posted on those websites, he said.

No other branch of the military had taken similar actions, said Lapan, noting the measure was "neither DoD-directed nor DoD-wide," referring to the Department of Defense.

Some analysts called the move a clumsy overreaction and the New York Times said "it is unfortunate that the US Air Force has chosen not to allow its personnel access to information that virtually everyone else in the world can access."

Ever since Wikileaks began releasing classified military documents, the Pentagon has put measures into place to try to prevent more massive leaks and to better regulate how secret documents are handled.

The Obama administration has already advised federal employees not to read secret documents published by Wikileaks unless they have security clearance to do so.

Wikileaks has yet to reveal how it obtained the hundreds of thousands of classified documents, but suspicion has centered on Bradley Manning, a low-ranking soldier in Army intelligence, who has been detained since May.


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