Wikileaks Warning Issued to Students at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs

The School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University has acknowledged that it sent an email to its students with a warning that students refrain from making comments about the leaked diplomatic cables on social media sites like Facebook or via Twitter and from posting links to the documents if they ever hope to work for the State Department in the future. The email from an unnamed individual at the school’s Office of Career Services reportedly relayed a recommendation made by a school alumnus in a telephone call to the school. According to the email, the alumnus works for the State Department at the present time.

Following is a copy of the email:

From: Office of Career Services
Date: Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 3:26 PM
Subject: Wikileaks – Advice from an alum
To: “Office of Career Services (OCS)”

Hi students,

We received a call today from a SIPA alumnus who is working at the State Department. He asked us to pass along the following information to anyone who will be applying for jobs in the federal government, since all would require a background investigation and in some instances a security clearance.

The documents released during the past few months through Wikileaks are still considered classified documents. He recommends that you DO NOT post links to these documents nor make comments on social media sites such as Facebook or through Twitter. Engaging in these activities would call into question your ability to deal with confidential information, which is part of most positions with the federal government.

Office of Career Services

Philip J. Crowley, a State Department spokeman, however, has denied any federal involvement in relaying any such message about Wikileaks to anyone outside the State Department. Crowley reportedly said: “This is not true. We have instructed State Department employees not to access the WikiLeaks site and download posted documents using an unclassified network since these documents are still classified. We condemn what Mr. Assange is doing, but have given no advice to anyone beyond the State Department to my knowledge.”

When questioned why Columbia would have sent the message to its students, Crowley replied: “If an employee of the State Department sent such an email, it does not represent a formal policy position.”

The Lede (The New York Times)

Huffington Post

The Arabist

Updated to add the following link to a Huffington Post article dated 12/6/2010:
Columbia University Walks Back Anti-WikiLeaks Advice

(My thanks go to eniobob for that link.)

– Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger

108 thoughts on “Wikileaks Warning Issued to Students at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs”

  1. Look at the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

    Article 15

    No one shall be held guilty of any criminal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time when the criminal offence was committed. if, subsequent to the commission of the offence, provision is made by law for the imposition of a lighter penalty, the offender shall benefit thereby.
    Nothing in this article shall prejudice the trial and punishment of any person for any act or omission which, at the time when it was committed, was criminal according to the general principles of law recognized by the community of nations.

    Article 22
    Everyone shall have the right to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
    No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those which are prescribed by law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order (ordre public), the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others

    Article 2
    Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes:
    To ensure that any person whose rights or freedoms as herein recognized are violated shall have an effective remedy, notwithstanding that the violation has been committed by persons acting in an official capacity; to ensure that any person claiming such a remedy shall have his rights thereto determined by competent judicial, administrative or legislative authorities, or by any other competent authority provided for by the legal system of the State, and to develop the possibilities of judicial remedy;
    To ensure that the competent authorities shall enforce such remedies when granted.

  2. So can someone kindly inform me of the difference between Pay Pal, Master Card, Visa and any other financial group cutting off money to Wiki Leaks and all the disgusting porn sites they all clamor to support?? Some people would consider what Julian Assange is doing is pornographic?? And further to the notion that the leader Julian is in custody now I think there is enough people out there who regardless if he’s in jail or not, believe in what hes doing to carry on the works he believes in.

  3. This is a whole new level of cyber war and avenues for suppression of information/oppression of citizens. I worry when people actually start talking about stuff like this: (This is not a spoof of satire piece)

    “You’re either with us, or you’re with WikiLeaks”

    “Some say attacking WikiLeaks would be fruitless. Really? In the past year, the Iranian nuclear system has been crippled by a computer worm called “Stuxnet,” which has attacked Iran’s industrial systems and the personal computers of Iranian nuclear scientists. To this day, no one has traced the origin of the worm. Imagine the impact on WikiLeaks’s ability to distribute additional classified information if its systems were suddenly and mysteriously infected by a worm that would fry the computer of anyone who downloaded the documents. WikiLeaks would probably have very few future visitors to its Web site.”

  4. I saw a segment with criminal defense and civil rights attorney Ron Kuby talking with Andrew Napolitano earlier tonight. I share Kuby’s belief that Assange will be extradited to Sweden and then to the United States to stand trial:

    Kuby: “I think Mr. Assange’s path, unfortunately, will go from England fairly soon to Sweden on the phony rape charges, and then the Swedish center-right government – which has consistently colluded and collaborated with the United States over some things that we shouldn’t be doing – will waive most extradition procedures and send him back to the United States to a grand jury currently sitting in Alexandria, Virginia right now.”

    Napolitano: “Is it interesting that it should be held in Alexandria, Virginia? Why is that the governments favorite place to try people who first enter the U.S.?”

    Kuby: “It is one of the most conservative districts, one of the districts that has a huge number of federal employees, and an obsession with secrecy: it is the headquarters of the C.I.A.”

    Napolitano: “Do you think that Julian Assange will not get bail, will not see the light of day, will not successfully resist being extradited from Sweden to the U.S.?”

    Kuby: “Yes, yes, and yes. And I think that in a few weeks he will be marched into a federal courthouse – in chains and shackles – he’ll be denied bail, he’ll be held literally in a hole somewhere, under a special administrative measure that will cut him off from communication from almost everyone, even abridge some communication with his lawyers, he won’t have his documents, he won’t be able to put up a defense.”

    “… this guy is being treated like an Al Quaeda operative when all he his doing is acting as a journalist publicizing information that frankly as a citizen I want to know.”

    (my own transcript)

  5. I once had an employee who used to say that. He/She(in the evening)

    Would say, girl, we can be the best of girlfriends ……

  6. Bdaman, there’s a big difference between “my man” and “a man”. Just sayn’ 🙂

  7. lottakatz: It can be very attractive. LOL I have to watch glee. It is one of the only shows I watch.

  8. Ok now, we can be the best of friends, we can go out together, play together, wear each others clothes and share make up. But what I won’t do is share my man. 🙂

  9. Anon Nurse, Visa denies service:

    Some time ago I checked the Wikileaks site for donation options and I didn’t donate because the options I saw were all online or wire transfer type methods as I recall.

    I’m careful about stuff like that. I know that every key-stroke one makes is routed to the government, ISP’s roll over with hardly a nudge and banking, saving and credit institutions hand over your records with not a word of protest. Donating to a site like Wikileaks is one of those acts (like voting electronically) that is faith-based in my world: I’d stick a $20.00 bill or so in an envelope and send it to an address without a note or a return address on the envelope and just have faith that it got to the right place.

  10. lottakatz

    His point of contact was a female party official, whom we shall refer to as Sarah (her identity must be ­protected because of the ongoing legal proceedings).

    An attractive blonde, Sarah was already a well-known ‘radical feminist’. In her 30s, she had travelled the world following various fashionable causes.

    While a research assistant at a local university she had not only been the protegee of a militant feminist ­academic, but held the post of ‘campus sexual equity officer’. Fighting male discrimination in all forms, including sexual harassment, was her forte.

    Read more:

  11. BIL, “I wonder how long they can resist the temptation to use “enhanced interrogation”…”

    Uh huh. If it’s legal for a lawyer to bring in a sammich or soda to meetings with their client and I was Assange, I would not eat or drink anything I was given by way of food by my jailers. I’d meet daily with my lawyer and live on whatever food he could get to me. The cops have the best drugs and they might just use them to try to get some info out of him.

Comments are closed.