The US military has put measures in place to try to stop its Iraq-deployed soldiers from viewing WikiLeaks documents, an army spokesperson said Saturday. Soldiers logging on to the internet receive an automatic legal warning concerning the website.
AFP - The US military in Iraq is trying to prevent soldiers from viewing WikiLeaks documents and has posted a web advisory suggesting they could be breaking the law, a spokeswoman said on Saturday.
The warning, posted Friday, pops up on the US military's unclassified network, NIPRNet, before soldiers can access news and other websites and tells troops they should not view, download, or forward the secret releases.
"IAW (In accordance with) with DOD (Department of Defence) guidance and USF-I OPSEC (United States Forces-Iraq Operational Security) Hash 10-2, all personnel are to refrain from viewing any of the articles pertaining to WikiLeaks releases on their DOD NIPR system," the warning reads.
But Staff Sergeant Kelli Lane said the military was not blocking the Internet.
"USF-I has not blocked any news websites from being read," the US army press officer said in an e-mail to AFP.
"Because of the WikiLeaks release of secret documents and their easy availability on the web, USF-I has posted a warning page NIPRNet computers go to first."
Lane said that the advisory only serves as a warning and does not prohibit armed forces personnel from viewing the news websites. She did not say which news websites were affected.
Over the past several days, WikiLeaks has begun publishing the first of 250,000 US diplomatic cables, creating an international firestorm as American diplomats' private assessments of foreign leaders and politics has been publicly aired.
The release was the third major publication of secret US files by WikiLeaks this year, after the whistleblower website published tens of thousands of American military files from the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts.
Lane said that the warning did not appear in the aftermath of the previous two releases. She added that she could not immediately comment on why the warning was put up after the most recent release, but not in past instances.
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