Monday, November 5, 2012

US National Archives Blocks Search For Gov't Docs Containing 'WikiLeaks'

FDL's Kevin Gosztola:
Searches for “WikiLeaks” in the public search engine for the US National Archives have been blocked, according to a posting at Any search containing the word “WikiLeaks (like “Congress” and “WikiLeaks”) turns up an error message.

WikiLeaks reacted on Twitter, “The US National Archives has literally turned into Orwell’s Ministry of Truth.” In another more vivid message, “The US state is literally eating its own brain by censoring its own collective memories about WikiLeaks.” And, in another message, “The US National Archives censoring searches for its records containing the word ‘WikiLeaks’ is absolutely absurd.”

It is unknown when the Archives began blocking searches, but the United States government did adopt a generally accepted and understood policy of censorship back in December 2010 when the US State Embassy cables were being released.

The Library of Congress (LOC) blocked access to WikiLeaks on its computer system, including computers used by patrons in reading rooms. ...

Whether or not you like WikiLeaks, and whether or not (as has never been established) they are leaking classified information, this behavior by the Archives has only one legitimate name: censorship. It is one thing to prevent the release of secrets. It is another altogether to prevent public discussion of agency activity. Not only stories from WikiLeaks are blocked: stories ABOUT WikiLeaks are blocked.

Read the rest. Your free-speech rights may come to depend on the result of this battle. And don't think either presidential candidate is better on this issue.

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