The Army has responded to a series of stories from the Guardian revealing the extent of NSA surveillance on Americans by partially blocking access to the news site.
According to an Army spokesperson, responding to questions from the Monterey County Herald, the army is denying "some access to press coverage and online content about the NSA leaks" on their computers. That, the Herald says, specifically covers the Guardian, as noticed by their sources at a nearby Army post. The Army spokesperson also notes that blocking public access to classified information is routine for the Department of Defense. To be sure, it's hardly the first time a wing of the government has blocked access to public sites publishing classified information.
There's another reason the Army has blocked access: their zero-tolerance policy for downloading classified information onto unclassified computers, as outlined in a memo sent to the Presidio of Monterey by information assurance security officer Jose Campos:
"Campos wrote if an employee were to accidentally download classified information it would result in "labor intensive" work, such as the wipe or destruction of the computer's hard drive.
He wrote that an employee who downloads classified information could face disciplinary action if found to have knowingly downloaded the material on an unclassified computer."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.