back to article Air Force blocks access to sites that covered WikiLeaks

The US Air Force is barring its personnel from using government computers to view The New York Times and 25 other websites that posted diplomatic memos released by WikiLeaks, according to news reports. When personnel try to view the banned websites -- which also include The Guardian, Germany's Der Spiegel, Spain's El País and …


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  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Pravda still ok

    What about the North Korea exchange and mart ?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      quote of the day

      "An informed citizenry is the only true repository of the public will." -- Thomas Jefferson

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        Miss quote

        I am relitivly sure this was not what he ment.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          I'm relatively sure...

          I'm relatively sure that your grammar and spelling is awful.

  2. Greg J Preece

    Time for another visit

    To Google's cache!

  3. BristolBachelor Gold badge

    Google too?

    You can see the things on google too, so they should ban that, oh and Yahoo!, hell you can see them most places, just ban everything.

    Also you could suck out their eyeballs to stop them seeing anything in newspapers...

  4. Gordon Pryra

    Lots of ammunition here

    For random comments about

    land of the Free

    Spilt Milk

    Gates and bolting horses

    Repression of civil liberty's


    Really, you couldn't make this stuff up, who would have thought a government could hand something so badly and so publicly.

    1. Lusty

      RE:Lots of ammunition here

      "Really, you couldn't make this stuff up, who would have thought a government could hand something so badly and so publicly."

      This isn't being handled badly at all, you just misunderstand the situation. The government have told people who do no have the right level of clearance to read the classified documents that they are still not allowed to read the classified documents that have been stolen.

      Ease of access does not change the importance of a document or it's classification status so any military personel found reading them could still be courtmarshalled for the offense. blocking the sites may help prevent this happening, and reminding them of the rules is never a bad thing.

      1. Wize


        ...people without said clearance are able to read it as long as they are not government employees.

        The only ones that cant see it are your own people (and those who don't want to pay to visit the Times)

      2. fLaMePrOoF

        What are you?

        A fucking fingerman?

        I bet nothing goes unreported in your street.

      3. Oz

        Re: RE:Lots of ammunition here

        But the documents are now in the public domain and therefore can't really be labelled as "Classified" any more. That's the point that the US military/government are missing - pretending they are aren't out in the open (and subsequently banning your staff from reading them) doesn't make it so

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The creatures outside looked from pig to man...

    ...but already it was impossible to say which was which.

    Animal Farm wasn't just an indictment of the leadership of the revolution - they merely joined the ranks of leaders around the world. I think that situation should be abundantly clear to all, now that the US openly states that it will use torture, imprisonment without charge, shutting down media sources, cutting off bank accounts and other financial sources, and trawling archaic laws to find excuses for accusation... Putin has a point - what criticism can the US make of Russia without looking like a completely transparent hypocrite?

  6. .stu

    got something to hide?

    So the "enemy" can read the truth, but your own forces can't? Talk about brainwashing...

  7. genghis_uk Silver badge

    Land of the Free

    Didn't China do something similar with sites reporting the Tiananmen Square story?

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Welcome to USSA

    Union of Stalinist States Of America.

    USSA stop blaming Wikileaks and ask yourselves how the data got out into the wild in the first place.

    Serves them right for relying on windows, they really should use a properly locked down 'nix based system.

    1. Vic

      Unix wouldn't have solved this problem :-(

      > Serves them right for relying on windows

      In this instance, the OS used on those computers makes no difference.

      The data leak occurred because there was a total breakdown in security policy. They focussed on disseminating the information far and wide, with no regard to the security implications of doing so.

      Aside from the negligence implied by that activity, it is really no surprise that the information really was disseminated far and wide - just farther and wider than they intended. Bradley Manning will undoubtedly take the fall for the whole thing - but it is his superiors who actually deserve to be in the dock. Who in their right mind allows untrusted CDs to be played on supposedly secure computers? Have we forgotten the Sony rootkit? And that's just the tip of the iceberg...

      The unfortunate part of this whole fiasco is that the US Authorities are focussing their efforts on mitigating embarrassment to themselves, rather than fixing the assorted problems that this leak has highlighted. Thus the world will be a worse place just so that a few people can enjoy a few more years of power :-(


  9. raivn

    utter fail.

    Government should have declassified the lot and just published them straight out with the worst ones omitted, doubt anyone would have noticed.

    Could have just had Assange hang himself over the stress of it.

    The only thing criminal here is the negligence shown in America's security policies. I regard them currently much more dangerous to world peace than Iran.

  10. Sir Runcible Spoon


    Well, I suppose if these military personell have all signed up to do what Uncle Sam says, there isn't much they can do, but banning contractors from using their home computers to access public information! Christ all-fucking mighty.

    Uncle Sam, your underpants are showing, and we can see they're covered in skid marks you dirty, filthy, lying bastard.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    When non-western countries do it, it's an appaling thing to do because they're bad.

    When western countries do it, it's the right thing to do because we're good.

    And that's why it's completely different.

    1. Steve Renouf


      You owe me a new keyboard!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Oh my...

    So many stupid people round here. This is not Censorship,. This is not the same as China. For f**ks sake. They stopped air force personel acessing it from air force networks. This is not the same as China stopping everyone in the country on every network.

    My good god. So much hypocrisy going on around this. Mostly on the Pro Wikileaks side.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Horns

      I missed

      the "Sent from my iPhone' bit.

    2. Oz

      Re: Oh my

      They are also threatening action if they access the offending documents from their own computers, so it's not quite as clear cut as you suggest, and does suggest a level of state imposed censorship!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I like the logic.

    "Those NEWSPAPERS dared PUBLISH those CLASSIFIEDs. Therefore, the NEWSPAPERS are NOW to be CLASSIFIED also. It is only logical, captain."

    The problem is "too many secrets". So, let's make some more. Including insisting on calling things secret that other people are quite sure are no longer secret at all because they're published in international newspapers. Shyeah, that'll work.

    So now we have

    - Actual secret. Very few people know.

    - Public secret. Lots of people know.

    - Government secret. You get them from your newspaper.

    I just read an article in some it rag where a company had been stung, and stung painfully hard, by corporate data theft. Including the competition making good money out of their R&D. So they knee-jerked and drove to lock everything down. That didn't work; nobody wanted it and it was going to inflate the it budget fourfold. Turned out their previous security practices were just plain sloppy. So instead they reduced the number of secrets they had, and cared for those better. Saved a lot of dosh for expensive security gadgets to boot.

    The USoA government is literally awash with secrets. They're all over, everywhere, and as here, they breed. That just isn't going to last. But hey, if they want to make fools of themselves for our amusement, as long as it doesn't hurt others, let them.

    1. foo_bar_baz
      Thumb Up

      Good points

      However, I don't think the point is that they are trying to keep the secrets. They are trying to stop servicemen having their eyes opened to the implications, and to what friendly people think. Reading the news articles will lead to soldiers getting "demotivated" in their daily work. If they weren't sure they were the good guys before, they darn well are questioning it now.

  14. ici.chacal

    Internet Sensorship

    Hmmm, it does seem that the good ol' US of A is becoming more Chinese than China..!!

    1. Someone Else Silver badge

      They own our treasury...

      ...why shouldn't they own our mindset as well?

  15. Anonymous Coward


    so, the military can no longer read news sites etc clever. in fact so clever because they'll just read it all when they are at home anyway. whats the point?


  16. Anonymous Coward

    Land of the free!

    Do any of them really still believe that?


    Secrets? What secrets?

    Tip to USAF; if the cables were ever "secrets", they aren't "secrets" any more.

    Trying to pretend they are still "secrets" is not about protecting national security (its already too late for that).

    No, its called "denial" and "political censorship"... and it doesn't fool anyone.

  18. Tony Paulazzo


    Wasn't there also something about a never ending war in that book too, like America starting off all the recent wars. I miss the days the great and sucky US of A was isolationist. Wish they'd just fuck off and leave the rest of the world alone.

  19. The Fuzzy Wotnot


    * fingers in ears, eyes closed *

    "La la la! I'm not listening to you! La la la!"

  20. ratfox


    The whole world can now read these cables, yet the people in charge are unable to make the necessary changes in security protocols so that the people who were originally most likely to have access to it are allowed to read them from the web. This is truly an example of a bureaucracy that cannot get a clue: "The rules say that every evening, we must do a headcount of the barn, and close the door. I know the barn is empty, but the rules still apply."

    Nah nah naaaah, can't hear you, can't hear you...

  21. Bryce Prewitt

    I bet Fox News is still available and uncensored.

    Every single military establishment I've ever stepped into or walked by - literally every single base, outpost, retail front, etc., no matter where in the country it was - has had Fox News on a television somewhere. Most often on multiple televisions, being paid very careful attention to by enlistees and officers alike.

    The fact that the Air Force spokesman specifically gave a statement to Fox News is telling.

    I hope this catalyzes American journalism into action. They've been both asleep at the wheel and in cahoots with this government for far too long. It's time they reclaim their place in society as the "fourth estate"!

  22. Jean-Luc
    Paris Hilton

    Let me understand...

    The whole cause of the Wikileaks fiasco was that 2.5 M users in all could access SIPRNET.

    Pretty much all the military in the US + a lot of govs.

    With apparently not much monitoring of whether their use was normal (looking up say 500 records in one day) or suspicious (hmmm, download 250K of them, we're sure you have need-to-know).

    Now they want to lock the door of the barn, after the horse, the fleas and the field mice have all escaped so that their own SIPR-habilitated personnel can't see on a public forum what they are still allowed to see on SIPR?

    Color me clever.

    Paris, obviously.

  23. 68 SK LFG

    Flat Earthers

    <dripping sarcasm>

    No matter from what angle you look at it, the Earth is flat.

    Big Round Flat Platter in fact.

    </dripping sarcasm>

    The horse is freaking GONE! It's too damn late to close the damn gate.


  24. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    The real reason

    behind this is to make it harder for people to leak stuff. Those really interested in the matter will still look at the websites, and thus be easier to detect (smaller cohort of military people accessing the data). If they need to prosecute anyone whom they suspect of leaking another set of materials but don't have hard proof, they can still charge them with accessing classified data in the past by looking at NYT. It's a more clever trick than you think.

  25. Tempest

    Why are so many Air Force people on-line when they are 'working'?

    The use of company (or paid) time to pursue private interests when access to the Internet is provided seems to have penetrated even the military.

    Visits to government offices also reveal employees looking at non-job related web sites.

    Has anyone studied just how much paid employment time is wasted on on non-job related Internet use. I suspect the figure, and the cost, would be staggering.

  26. Anonymous Coward


    Wait, why aren't they getting all angry over the owners of newspaper sites? Why are they only going after the first publisher? If they ever try to get Assange for espionage wouldn't they have to also charge the editors of all the papers with the same crimes?

  27. Deadly_NZ

    And what about free speech?

    Thats right there is no free speech in the land of the Paranoid and Insane

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