The U.S. military is, unsurprisingly, not a fan of muckraking journalist and confirmed dog person Glenn Greenwald or his news website, The Intercept.
Today the website reported that several branches of the military were actively blocking the website from their computers, and cautioning servicemembers and employees from visiting the site.
According to multiple military sources, a notice has been circulated to units within the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps warning staff that they are prohibited from reading stories published by The Intercept on the grounds that they may contain classified information. The ban appears to apply to all employees—including those with top-secret security clearance—and is aimed at preventing classified information from being viewed on unclassified computer networks, even if it is freely available on the internet. Similar military-wide bans have been directed against news outlets in the past after leaks of classified information.
The Intercept also included a memo sent to military staff, which contains lots a ominously threatening paragraphs like this one:
As a reminder to all personnel who have ever signed a non-disclosure agreement, we have an ongoing responsibility to protect classified material in all of its various forms. Viewing potentially classified material (even material already wrongfully released in the public domain) from unclassified equipment will cause you long term security issues. This is considered a security violation.
The Intercept charges that the ban on the website is part of a larger effort by the military to crack down on news websites that have report on leaks on sensitive national security documents, including Wikileaks, The Guardian and others.
A spokesman for the Marines Capt. Eric Flanagan, claimed that it did not matter whether the information was published on a public website.
"Just because classified information is published on a public website, that doesn't mean military people with security clearance have the ability to download it," Flanagan said.