The Air Force and WikiLeaks

The New York Times and Wall Street Journal are reporting that the U.S. Air Force has blocked its personnel from viewing websites posting the WikiLeaked classified diplomatic cables and documents. This includes not only specific articles that mention the leaks, but entire sites of media outlets that have posted the documents. So members of the Air Force can't read the Times (and about twenty-five other organizations) at work. Violators have been warned "that they face punishment if they try" to see the files on "unauthorized Web sites." Strangely, though, the other branches of the armed forces have not taken the same step, simply relying on the good will of their employees to follow the White House directive that the classified files should be treated as such and not looked at by people without security clearances. Responding to the policy, a Times spokeswoman called it "unfortunate."

Naturally, since they live within the ether of the World Wide Web, most bloggers find the policy "ridiculous" and "pointless." Spencer Ackerman opines that it's an "extreme step" and a "brain-melting move" that won't "get the WikiLeaks toothpaste back into the classified-network tube." Glenn Davis wonders if blocking the Times will only serve to "to motivate Julian Assange & Co. further,"  and Gizmodo says it's a "heavy-handed, rather startling attempt to keep Americans in the dark."