US military bans staff from reading a site devoted to leaks

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US military bans staff from reading a site devoted to leaks

Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras launched their own news site, The Intercept, to post high-profile leaks without worrying about the hassles that can come with publishing through major media outlets. They don't have to worry that an outside editor will put the kibosh on an Edward Snowden story due to government pressure, for instance. However, that isn't precluding officials from doing what they can to limit access. The US military has issued directives that ban staff from reading The Intercept due to the classified material that frequently pops up, particularly from a new reported leak source. Workers caught browsing the content might face "long term security issues," one such memo warns. And that's if they can read it at all; people in multiple military branches say the site is blocked altogether.

The move isn't totally surprising, of course. The government regularly puts strict limits on the sites you're allowed to visit from its offices, and it has a legal obligation to keep classified content off of devices where it doesn't belong. Even if higher-ups are sympathetic, they're required to both scrub computers clean and report any visits. Nonetheless, the Intercept ban highlights a certain absurdity to the government's data policies -- it's barring access to "secret" surveillance details that you can easily read as soon as you leave for home.

[Image credit: Shutterstock / Everett Collection]

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