It's been both depressing and amusing to watch the federal government react to Wikileaks with some of the dumbest policy decisions possible. First, we saw the Library of Congress block access
to Wikileaks' site, not realizing that the site was barely a part of how the documents were being distributed, while still frustrating
Congressional Research Service analysts who needed to access the site as a part of their research
. Then, we had reports of the Defense Department crudely blocking access to any website that had Wikileaks in the title
, followed by the Air Force's decision to block access to news sites
, such as the NY Times, that are discussing Wikileaks.
This is all downright bizarre. Basically, this is content that everyone else in the world can access
and read about, except for government employees who don't look at it at home. The whole exercise seems like a complete waste of time and money by the US government, and it's about to get worse. According to some reports, the federal government is reaching out to security firms to see if they can build a system to block all access to Wikileaks content from within the federal government's computer system
. One company asked about this notes that it's different than what they normally do, which is focused on keeping documents in a network
(too late for that), rather than architecting a system to keep documents out.
At what point will the government finally admit that if a classified document is leaked and widely available, it's counterproductive to keep pretending that it's still classified. It doesn't help anyone, and it just makes the government look silly and in denial. I prefer my government to respond to reality, not pretend reality doesn't exist.