Wikileaks Guidance

A message recently went out in the Navy community about how servicepeople should deal with the urge to read the Wikileaks website. Excerpts:
Per ALNAV 055/10, DON personnel are directed not to access the WikiLeaks website to view or download the publicized classified information.
Doing so would introduce potentially classified information on unclassified networks.
There has been rumor that the information is no longer classified since it resides in the public domain. This is NOT true. Executive Order 13526, Section 1.1(4)(c) states "Classified Information shall not be declassified automatically as a result of any unauthorized disclosure of identical or similar information."
The subject information was neither properly nor improperly "declassified" by an appropriate authority and requires continued classification or reclassification. It is "apparently classified information" that appears to have been disclosed without appropriate review and authority. The information posted needs to be reviewed by the appropriate Original Classification Authorities (OCAs) to:
determine if it is classified, conduct damage assessments, and make a determination regarding continued classification.
Despite circumstances surrounding the WikiLeaks, all DON military, civilian, and contractor support personnel must continue to protect similar or identical information commensurate with the level of classification assigned per SECNAV M-5510.36, until the information is assessed by the appropriate OCAs. DON personnel shall:
A. Not confirm or deny the existence of potentially classified NSI in the public domain, and report the incident per SECNAV M-5510.36, Chapter 12.
B. Not contribute to the further dissemination of potentially classified NSI on DON unclassified IT systems by accessing websites or any other internet based capability (IBC) (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, etc.) to view, copy or forward this information.
C. Ensure classified NSI is only shared with personnel with an authorized clearance, access, need to know, and only via authorized channels and systems.
D. Protect classified NSI commensurate with the level of classification assigned per SECNAV M-5510.36, until the information is declassified by the appropriate OCA.
E. Adhere to the services systems authorization access request form (SAAR; i.e., user agreement form) for the protection of information residing on DON networks.
F. Adhere to their non-disclosure agreement (SF-312) when granted a security clearance.
Please remember, Government information technology capabilities should be used to enable our war fighters, promote information sharing in defense of our homeland, and to maximize efficiencies in operations. It should not be used as a means to harm national security through unauthorized disclosure of our information on publicly accessible websites or chat rooms.
Attempts to the WikiLeaks site are being monitored by the OSD Computer Network Defense Service Provider (CNDSP).


1. Visit the Information Assurance Support Environment website and read the DoD WikiLeaks guidance,
2. Do not attempt to access the WikiLeaks website or access WikiLeaks information using search capabilities.
3. Inform other DoD military, civilians, and contractor personnel of the DoD WikiLeak guidance.
[Emphasis mine] It mostly seems common sense and in keeping with the intent of the classified material handling programs in place -- namely, don't put classified material into UNCLAS systems. That statement I highlighted does sound a little creepy, however.

Regarding the current situation, I'm amused that there are people who are calling for asswipe Julian Assange, an Australian (not an American), to be charged with treason. The real villain is the person who took the classified material and gave it to Wikileaks. If it turns out that PFC Bradley Manning was the person who did it, it seems to me that he knowingly stole classified information that could be of aid to the enemy during wartime, and knowingly gave it to someone he knew would disseminate it to the enemy (by posting it on the Internet). This seems to me to meet all the elements for conviction under the "Giving intelligence to the enemy" section of UCMJ Article 104 (Aiding the Enemy). I believe that he should get the maximum penalty for this charge if found guilty, which would kind of obviate the need for a civilian treason trial.

What I don't like are these calls for censorship coming from the right directed towards the media who published the leaks originally provided through Wikileaks, especially from Tea Party hero Rep.-elect Allen West (he of the "clearance that even the President... cannot obtain"). While there may be times a newspaper should hold off on printing something because it's the right thing to do, I think it would set a bad precedent if they were prosecuted for publishing classified material when they have not signed a non-disclosure agreement. Let's face it -- it's the government's responsibility to make sure classified information doesn't get out, not the press's job.

[Admin note: For those who are wondering why I'm posting the message above , I'm taking the guidance of the last quoted paragraph to heart and informing interested personnel.]