US officials will soon be banned from citing leaked data in speeches and written documents. The new policy, which is being pushed through by the head of the NSA, will crack down on “sourcing unauthorized disclosures” that harm national security.
A pre-publication review from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has been released, prohibiting both current and former officials from publicly acknowledging disclosures of classified information. Even if leaks are being discussed by the media, officials must still turn a blind eye to them or face penalties.
“The use of such information in a publication can confirm the validity of an unauthorized disclosure and cause further harm to national security,” the review said. The ban will not only extend to opinion articles, books and term papers, but also to unofficial written material.
Failure to adhere to the new policy “may result in the imposition of civil and administrative penalties, and may result in the loss of security clearances and accesses,” the document says.
Timothy Edgar, a visiting professor at Brown University, told the New York Times that the new policy goes too far by prohibiting former employees from citing news reports in the public domain.
“You’re basically saying people can’t talk about what everyone in the country is talking about,” he said. “I think that is awkward and overly broad in terms of restricting speech.”
This new policy comes off the back of regulations introduced by intelligence chief James Clapper back in April. The head of the US intelligence community introduced regulations that would make consulting journalists without prior permission a fireable offense for intelligence personnel.
“No substantive information should be provided to the media regarding covered matters in the case of unplanned or unintentional contacts,” said the new directive, adding that any incidents would be treated in the same way as a security violation.
The US intelligence community has sought to shore up security following the massive disclosures of classified data by Edward Snowden last year. The former CIA contractor-turned-whistleblower leaked a trove of information, revealing the National Security Agency’s global spy programs.
Following the disclosures, Snowden fled to Hong Kong and then to Russia, where he was granted temporary political asylum. Washington condemned Snowden’s actions, with some politicians branding him a traitor. At present, the US has an extradition order out against him and has charged him under the Espionage Act.
Since the NSA scandal, Washington has reined in its intelligence practices and as of January no longer monitors the private communications of world leaders.
I decided to bring this report over from C2NN News, I am now going to watch Eurovision on TV speak to yourselves very late today or tomorrow
You know, I am going to probably hear about this, but I do agree with the directive. When a person becomes an employee of any business, whether it is a manufacturing buisness, a shoe store, or a government agency, you are expected, and rightfully, to keep the business of that company or agency private. You do not go out and discuss anything about that business; where they purchase productrs, what they pay for products, who their customers are, what you are paid or, if you work in personnel or payroll, and information about the employee including what they are paid. In fact, when a person is terminated or leaves a job, if someone calls for a reference on that person you cannot give any details of why they left, what they were paid, etc.; all you can answer is the question, "Would you hire them again?"
Therefore, what makes anyone think that a government agency, especially one that is involved in highly secure informaton such as NSA, CIA, FBI, IRS, etc. to not expect complete silence when it comes to information about that agency.
Would we want our boss to tell the media that we were fired for any reason whatsoever or to tell them where we live or what we are paid? A hospital, doctor's office, dental office, optical office, etc. are not allowed to give out our personal information nor anything about our condition without our express permission and only when they receive specific authorization; so why do we think we have the right to any information that is held or compiled by a government agency, especially to release it to the media.
My son works in personnel for the U.S. Army and he told me the other day when we talked that he is not even allowed to give information about personnel, no matter what rank they might be, to any other government agency, let alone the non-military such as media. That means that if an officer from another base were to contact him wanting information about someone on his base, it has to go through higher command and he has to receive the proper paperwork from his commanding officer before he releases any information. And absolutely nothing is to go to civilians asking.
So does the fact that the NSA is closing the door to information, one that has always been closed, be any different than the Company headquarters for GE, Microsoft, or the U.S. Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force or Marine Corp?
I would have to say I feel much better knowing that our national security is being locked down and that it has no business being discussed with the media or anywhere else and anyone that does leak information should be prosecuted, not just fired, prosecuted. That includes Congressmen/women, the President, or any other government employee, as well.
I would ask if the highly secret and sensitive information obtained and collected by top security agencies in the U.K., Germany, Russia or any other Country; are the people working in these agencies not held to strict confidentiality as well? Are they allowed to discuss top secret information with the media? I don't believe they are and rightfully so.
SO, not sure I feel that this is not just what should be happening. We have to remember that lives can be at stake if infomration is revealed; it has happened and recently with the leaks of top security information from the U.S.
I am just glad someone is cracking down on this and that they are putting better security means in place and willing to stop this sort of activity.
Many working in government and in our military have to go through a thorough background check to attain different levels of clearance depending on what area they are working in. I have heard that not everyone in the government can just walk in and sit in a meeting. Meetings have certain levels of "clearance" and only those who have that "level" of clearance can be in that room. So, there are different levels and for a very good reason.
I agree with Linda.
This post was modified from its original form on 11 May, 2:47