#1 By: Xeni Jardin, July 16th, 2013 15:17
The Department of Homeland Security is warning its employees that they can be punished for opening up a Washington Post article that includes a classified slide that showing how the National Security Agency eavesdrops on international communications. An internal memo from DHS headquarters told workers on Friday that viewing the document from an “unclassified government workstation”… READ THE REST
#2 By: Aaron Bockelie, July 16th, 2013 15:34
I should put that powerpoint slide on a t-shirt and wear it next time I go through the Canadian border.
#3 By: Scott Rose, July 16th, 2013 15:45
That's the same direction all Federal employees got right after the Manning Wikileaks dump. Even reading about it or viewing web stories that contained excerpts would be punishable.
At one point, while working with a DISA admin on a different network architecture issue, he mentioned to please never to include the word "wikileak" in an email or red alerts would go off all over their infosec group and he'd have to explain why he wasn't discussing or leaking anything. It would have become a funny work DoS vector: Just send an email to everyone with "wikileaks" in the body somewhere.
#4 By: knoxblox, July 16th, 2013 15:50
To me, my take on history is that eventually all governments become like that parent who admonishes the child against doing something as they get older -- all the while engaging in that exact behavior.
#5 By: Stefan Jones, July 16th, 2013 15:51
ref thoughtcrime doubleplus ungood
#6 By: Ken, July 16th, 2013 15:53
I find this absurd logic utterly delightful. By the same thinking, if a DHS worker walks in to work in the morning with a newspaper that has printed this graphic, and then leaves at the end of the day with the same newspaper, then they must be guilty of improperly removing classified documents, correct?
#7 By: heckblazer, July 16th, 2013 15:55
This does make perfect bureaucratic sense. You're not supposed send classified information to people or systems that are not authorized to have it, and the leaked NSA slides are still classified as neither the Washington Post nor any other news organization has the authority to declassiffy something.
#8 By: Maj_Variola, July 16th, 2013 16:01
If these slides are not available as T-shirts when I check in a moment, the Intertubes has failed me.
Also fun to stroll by a mil recruitment center in them..
#9 By: kurt wismer, July 16th, 2013 16:11
if DHS employees can be punished for viewing that slide, then how about a skillful tagger paint that slide on the parking lot outside a DHS office? i wonder if they'll start telling their employees to not look down.
alternatively, since it is a slide, how about a rogue projectionist project it right onto DHS office windows?
#10 By: rocketpj, July 16th, 2013 17:03
Beautiful. Never let sanity get in the way of rules.
#11 By: Ian Wood, July 16th, 2013 17:10
If I've already read it, does that mean I can't get hired by the NSA? That would be fantastic; those guys have been bugging me to come on board for months and it would be nice to be able to make them stop bothering me.
#12 By: Carl Whithof, July 16th, 2013 17:20
Our company's security group (we do Defense contracting) worded it a bit differently. They banned anyone from reading that stuff while on a company computer or network, fine, and sort of reminded us that we had some sort of responsibility to return classified materials for which we had no "need to know" without reading them. Most of us ignore the latter part. DoD still really hasn't figured out the whole Internet & digital copy thing, let alone newspapers.
#13 By: Anthony I, July 16th, 2013 17:30
The government is keeping this information away from itself... Isn't that a type of coping mechanism in psychoanalytic theory?
#14 By: Jeremy Erwin, July 16th, 2013 17:43
Compartmentalization is an unconscious psychological defense mechanism used to avoid cognitive dissonance, or the mental discomfort and anxiety caused by a person's having conflicting values, cognitions, emotions, beliefs, etc. within themselves. Compartmentalization allows these conflicting ideas to co-exist by inhibiting direct or explicit acknowledgement and interaction between separate compartmentalized self states. Psychoanalysis considers that whereas isolation separates thoughts from feel...
The same terminology is used to describe what the government is attempting to do
In matters concerning information security, whether public or private sector, compartmentalization is the limiting of access to information to persons or other entities who need to know it in order to perform certain tasks. The concept originated in the handling of classified information in military and intelligence applications. The basis for compartmentalization was the idea that, if fewer people know the details of a mission or task, the risk or likelihood that such information could be compro...
#15 By: king Luma, July 16th, 2013 18:24
whenever I see these slides I can't help thinking they could use some better graphic design talent over at the NSA... or maybe even just to take a one day class or something... http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/courses
#16 By: Noah Django Gross, July 16th, 2013 18:27
"tomorrow, the boss will arrive to work buck naked. all DHS employees must compliment our boss on his splendid new suit."
this is gold
#17 By: Stu, July 16th, 2013 18:28
As stoopid as the policy seems, it's a real issue for worker bees employed by certain federal agencies or their contractors. For instance, on June 6, ArsTechnica ran its first story on PRISM [NSFDoDW], featuring a thumbnail of one of the slides...a slide clearly sporting the legend "Top Secret/SI/ORCON/NOFORN." The next day, DoD issued a memo on viewing classified material on unclassified computers. Instant shit-storm-in-a-cup, as Ars readers began to chime in with pleas to stop posting such images to the front page, and to place some kind of spoiler alert on the article links.
It was kinda painful to watch the snark and sarcasm aimed at these readers' concerns, even by staff. After two weeks the decision was made to not place such images on the front page; no other accommodation was made. (Which seems odd...the rule for folks with InfoSec looking over their shoulders is caveat lector, while those in conventional cubical farms continue to get [NSFW] warnings on articles that link to shocking naughty bits.)
#18 By: Thetorchpasses, July 16th, 2013 19:36
#19 By: Work, Watch, Buy, Repeat, July 16th, 2013 20:56
To make this even more perfect, the DHS memo is itself technically a classified leak, because it officially asserts that the material in the Washington Post is classified.
#20 By: Xeni Jardin, July 21st, 2013 15:18
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