Thursday, December 16, 2010

More on that Consular Affairs/PPT "no looking at WikiLeaks" memo on "personal time"

Philip J. CrowleyImage via WikipediaAt the Daily Press Brief, poor Mr. Crowley had to clarify this memo for the public and explain that personal time is "while here on break at the State Department."  He was not asked and he did not explain why passport employees were singled out.

QUESTION: WikiLeaks related. You’ve seen out there on the web a document from – addressed to people who work – some people who work in CA, telling them that they are not allowed to look at these cables, even on their home computers.

MR. CROWLEY: No. I’m glad you raised that. Just to clarify that memo. And recall, our – as department-wide, our concern is that these are classified documents and to download them onto an unclassified computer represents a security violation. So we have, in fact, told all State Department employees not to download these documents on an unclassified system. There was a mention in this letter which was written at the behest of the union just clarifying, because employees are authorized to have personal breaks while working here at the State Department, that on their personal breaks they are also not authorized to access these documents. That had nothing to do with whatever they do at home.

QUESTION: So they can look at them, but they can’t download them?

MR. CROWLEY: Here at the State Department, working on a State Department computer system, no one, not me, not anyone else, can download these documents.

QUESTION: So when it says they shall not access any classified documents, including WikiLeaks, during business hours or on their personal time --

MR. CROWLEY: That’ll be --

QUESTION: -- that personal time is within the State Department?

MR. CROWLEY: That personal time is while here on break at the State Department.


MR. CROWLEY: What they do when they leave here, obviously their home computer, their own personal network, their own decision.

Bottomline --

Better memo drafter needed so employees do not leak memo to gossip site and State Dept Spokesman need not have to clarify what  memo actually means.

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