DHS Puts its Head in the Sand
On the subject of the recent Washington Post Snowden document, the DHS sent this e-mail out to at least some of its employees:
Sent: Thursday, July 11, 2013 10:28 AM
Cc: xxx Security Reps; xxx SSO; xxxx;xxxx
Subject: //// SECURITY ADVISORY//// NEW WASHINGTON POST WEBPAGE ARTICLE—DO NOT CLICK ON THIS LINK
I have been advised that this article is on the Washington Post’s Website today and has a clickable link title “The NSA Slide you never seen” that must not be opened. This link opens up a classified document which will raise the classification level of your Unclassified workstation to the classification of the slide which is reported to be TS/NF. This has been verified by our Mission Partner and the reason for this email.
If opened on your home or work computer you are obligated to report this to the SSO as your computer could then be considered a classified workstation.
Again, please exercise good judgment when visiting these webpages and clicking on such links. You are violating your Non-Disclosure Agreement in which you promise by signing that you will protect Classified National Security Information. You may be subject to any administrative or legal action from the Government.
SSOs, please pass this on to your respective components as this may be a threat to the systems under your jurisdiction.
This is not just ridiculous, it’s idiotic. Why put DHS employees at a disadvantage by trying to prevent them from knowing what the rest of the world knows? The point of classification is to keep something out of the hands of the bad guys. Once a document is public, the bad guys have access to it. The harm is already done. Can someone think of a reason for this DHS policy other than spite?