Wikileaks: A Caution

It appears the last post I made was several months ago in April.  I’ve been slacking.  Anyway…

Wikileaks has released yet another cache of classified materials allegedly provided by PFC Bradley Manning.  I intend to post my thoughts on him in a future update, but today I would like to issue a caution toward my fellow Servicemembers.

After the last release of classified documents by wikileaks, the Pentagon issued a statement that was widely derided by many, but it was 100% valid and true then and remains so today.  Despite the release of these documents into the public domain by wikileaks, they have not been declassified and their release is unauthorized.

For those of us who possess clearances, we are fully aware of the requirements associated with the proper handling of classified materials.  All incidents of spillage (the introduction of classified materials onto unclassified media or networks) are required to be reported immediately and action taken to minimize or eliminate the spillage.  That is essentially what these leaks are:  spillage on a massive scale.  We are also aware of the fact that spillage does not remove a document’s classification.

Classification changes due to spillage work only one way — up:  unclassified material can be spilled onto a classified medium or network.  In such events, the unclassified material automatically takes on the highest classification of the system it’s introduced to; but, classifications cannot be downgraded through spillage.

What does all this mean?  Simple:  the materials released by Wikileaks retain their original classification.  It is a crime to introduce classified material onto unclassified systems.  I strongly caution my fellow Servicemembers to avoid viewing the documents on either their government computers or their personal computers / devices.  While nothing may ever come of it, do you really want to risk your clearance / career over this?

Steer clear of Wikileaks.


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