January 15, 2014:
The U.S. Department of Defense recently sent a notice to its contractors reminding them that it is illegal for anyone using a government owned PC to look at classified data that has been leaked and is now available on the Internet. This may sound absurd, and it is. But it’s actually an improvement. A decade ago the Department of Defense was harassing American media for showing classified data that was already all over the Internet. Strategypage received several of these nastygrams via email. We tried to explain the reality of the situation but the officer (usually a lieutenant colonel, who tend to get the worst assignments in the Pentagon) involved said he was following orders. So we did the next best thing. We pulled the offending data by editing the piece it appeared in to explain we were only following orders. Then we included the URL of the Russian or other site where the data was also appearing. We stopped getting the nastygrams after that.