MOSCOW, August 21 (RIA Novosti) - US Armed Forces personnel are no longer allowed to visit the website of online publication The Intercept as the US military is trying to censor news reports that contain leaked government secrets, the publication reported.
“We have received information from our higher headquarters regarding a potential new leaker of classified information. Although no formal validation has occurred, we thought it prudent to warn all employees and subordinate commands. Please do not go to any website entitled ‘The Intercept’ for it may very well contain classified material,” The Intercept cited a directive issued to US military staff as saying.
A notice has been circulated to units within the US Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps warning staff that they are prohibited from reading stories published by The Intercept.
Those caught viewing “potentially classified material” released in the public domain will face “long term security issues,” the directive said.
The ban appears to apply to all US military employees, including those with top-secret security clearances, and is aimed at preventing classified information from being viewed on unclassified computer networks, even if it is freely available on the Internet.
On Monday, staff from the US Navy, Army and Marine Corps separately confirmed to The Intercept that they could not access the publication’s website from work computers.
The Intercept is an online publication of First Look Media, a news organization created and funded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. Its founding editors include Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald, a US journalist who used to work as a columnist for British newspaper The Guardian. Former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden leaked classified information on US global surveillance activities to Greenwald and Poitras in June 2013.
The ban on The Intercept is the latest in a string of US military crackdowns on news websites that have published classified material. The US Army blocked parts of The Guardian’s website after it published secret documents leaked by Snowden. The WikiLeaks website was subject to similar measures after its publication of leaked US State Department files.