• State Department Censors Web Sites China Allows

    May 15, 2011

    Tags: , , , ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Iran, Other Ideas

    chimps see no wikileaksIf you’ve come over from TomDispatch after reading my article there, I am fairly certain of at least one thing (besides your good taste in blogs): You don’t work for the State Department.

    The State Department continues to block web sites within our offices such as Tom’s because they may contain content from Wikileaks, which although available all over the web, is still considered classified by the State Department. If you try to access a forbidden site, you get a message like this (click on the graphic below and it will enlarge so that your computer at home will look like a real US Government computer. Pretend you’re a real diplomat!):

    State Dept Wallpaper

    The doesn’t-make-sense part is that the State firewall does not block mainstream web sites that have a lot more Wikileaks content than Tom’s. Examples include the Washington Post, The New York Times and the Guardian UK. All of these sites have and continue to include Wikileaks material that is otherwise still classified within Foggy Bottom.

    Just to make sure our quotient of irony stays at Defcon 99, the State Department plans to spend $19 million on breaking Internet censorship overseas. State says it will give $19 million dollars to efforts to evade Internet controls in China, Iran and other authoritarian states which block online access to “politically sensitive material.” Michael Posner, the Assistant Secretary of State in charge of human rights, said that the funding would support technology to identify what countries are trying to censor and “redirecting information back in that governments have initially blocked; this is a cat-and-mouse game. We’re trying to stay one step ahead of the cat through email or posting it on blogs or RSS feeds or websites that the government hasn’t figured out how to block.”

    I emailed a colleague in Beijing, and yes, Tom Dispatch is available there to him, at home. In his US Embassy office however, the site is still blocked.



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  • Recent Comments

    • Russell_B said...

      1

      With respect to TomDispatch and “The War Lovers,” while your point about embedded journalists is well-taken, couldn’t the same argument be made about a reporter like Nicholas Kristof, who is essentially ‘embedded’ in the development world?

      Would Ed Murrow have broadcast critical stories about the British government from London in 1940?

      And wasn’t the same thing said about FSOs who spent “too much time” in a particular country or region — because they’d “gone native” their reporting was no longer reliable?

      You’re proposing a “capture” model in that piece, and it is very likely accurate in many respects, but its accuracy is somewhat beside the point.

      Is it new? Is it avoidable? Or is this merely more support for the notion that one has to be a careful consumer of media products?

      05/16/11 3:15 PM | Comment Link

    • Larrry Van Goethem said...

      2

      Having served four years in the Marines in the mid fifties, I left the Corps with two feelings — incredible joy that I was escaping (the prison) and a healthy respect for real marines. That is, those who fit the mold. I was enlisted so I can read the stuff put out by embedded reporters with an acerbic perspective.

      Let me assure you, we did not call ourselves “warriors” nor did we see ourselves as such; the term has evolved with the loss of the draft. The average peon, as we called ourselves, was acidic about serving. Anything I could quote wouldn’t be polite prose for your readers. We had no illusions and no use for careerists, but those veterans of World War II and Korea were something else. Most of us regarded them as true nobility and l they were all good guys, never martinets.

      Four years of that and a lifetime in journalism has made reading today’s tripe appalling. No trooper in his right mind is going to say anything that puts himself or his unit in a bad light. They will keep the truth within the ranks.

      So Van Buren’s piece is a welcome light trained on a record of folly. I did enjoy Nir Rosen’s copy when I was able to find it. I refused to see “Restrepo.” All of those reporters should be made to read their own stories and they should also watch HBO’s The Pacific, which combat vets tell me got it right; I was lucky, never saw combat.

      05/17/11 3:29 PM | Comment Link

    • Göran said...

      3

      As most people here in Scandinavia, i have too been following the US actions on the international scene over the past years.

      No need to repeat all the details – you know them and i know them. And i am sorry, all you “good guys” that truly deserve to live on this planet, there are plenty of you and Tom is ofc one, as is likely the owner of this blog. But:

      - I will never, ever visit your country.

      - I absolutely do not trust ANYTHING that the US government utters, and i will never do. The creditability of wikileaks is orders of magnitude bigger – how on earth could you let that happen? E.g. this one: Showing Saddam as a troll but not showing bin Laden – it’s completely apparent that bL had not 1 bullet in his body but probably 1000. Even my kids understand that a bad truth increases the trust, whereas lies just spoil everything… :-(

      - I will never sell anything that i own to an American or an American company, not even for the big money.

      I can’t do much more, i don’t want to, this is enough. But imagine: I’m an ordinary man living in Stockholm/Helsinki. And i write text like this! And i’m not even alone, most of my friends share my thoughts. Rumsfeld and all his soulmates, when at the last day in 10, 20, 30 years, whatever, could stop and think for a while: Was this what i planned when i was a little kid? Nobody can claim with honesty that it was. So what happened?

      What happened? When you go, Rumsfeld and Prince, spend the timeout (if you get any) on this litte thought: Is my “getting the meaning of life” ranking now good?

      The world, and especially Scandinavia, won’t miss you.

      Have a nice day.

      05/17/11 11:29 PM | Comment Link

    • Jose Gonzalez said...

      4

      US is not a country, it is simply a collection of tribes held together by the all pervasive glue of its veneration of all things military. Think Prussia and war as raison d’etre. I suppose it was inevitable since the entire experiment is based on genocide without having ever having acknowledged it and then the doctrine of Lebensraum known as Monroe, the business plan since 1823 if memory serves and which Hitler found so inspiring along with the ethnic cleansing, illegal medical experiments on prisoners and foreigners and inevitably industrialized genocide which Pentagon Kill Industries has perfected.

      Today as US “foreign policy” drones all over the planet in search of that Israeli delight “targeted killings” the world sees the US exactly for what it is. The jig is up and the credibility is shot especially after this joker Obama’s expansion of the hated Cheney Doctrine into every crack in the constitution. Constitutions are for wimps you can hear the chorus of neocon ghouls bark.

      Now that US image is beyond saving what do the evil geniuses foresee happening next? Think Hitler again and the gradual ganging up of the good guys to (in your own parlance) “take you down” with extreme prejudice.

      Yes it has become personal and a matter of survival of the good in humanity versus the totalitarian arrogance of a tribe of brutes way beyond the moral pale.

      05/18/11 1:28 PM | Comment Link

    • Russell_B said...

      5

      With all due respect to Göran, we here in America have great affection for Scandinavia. Thanks to Scandinavia, we have easy-to-build furniture, Swedish meatballs, and Viking helmets.

      And Göran, we have great respect for the long history of peace, brotherhood, and decency in Scandinavia.

      We hardly remember that tens of thousands of Scandinavians flocked into the Nazi SS during World War II — they probably just joined the Norse Freikorps, SS-Wiking Panzer and SS-Norland Panzer-Grenadier divisions for the food and the nifty uniforms.

      And we Americans won’t hold the Danmarks Nationalsocialistiske Bevægelse or the Norges Nasjonalsosialistiske Bevegelse or Vigrid or Vitt Ariskt Motstånd and all those other skinhead groups against you — they’re probably just silly kids out for a good time.

      Glass houses, Göran. People living in them shouldn’t throw stones.

      05/19/11 1:52 AM | Comment Link

    • Peter Van Buren: Freedom Isn’t Free at the State Department | Politimo said...

      6

      [...] looking at websites that carry or simply write about and refer to WikiLeaks documents, including TomDispatch.com, which is publishing this piece.  (That, in turn, means my colleagues at State won’t be [...]

      09/27/11 3:58 PM | Comment Link

    • State Department’s search for a WikiLeaks scapegoat | Peter Van Buren | BDHL.org said...

      7

      [...] looking at websites that carry, or simply write about and refer to, WikiLeaks documents, including TomDispatch.com, which is publishing this piece. (That, in turn, means my colleagues at State won’t be able [...]

      09/27/11 5:28 PM | Comment Link

    • State Department's search for a WikiLeaks scapegoat | Peter Van Buren | WikiLeaks News said...

      8

      [...] looking at websites that carry, or simply write about and refer to, WikiLeaks documents, including TomDispatch.com, which is publishing this piece. (That, in turn, means my colleagues at State won’t be able [...]

      09/27/11 5:53 PM | Comment Link

    • ScrollPost.com - State Department's search for a WikiLeaks scapegoat | Peter Van Buren said...

      9

      [...] [...]

      09/27/11 7:28 PM | Comment Link

    • State Department’s search for a WikiLeaks scapegoat | BERND PULCH, MAGISTER ARTIUM said...

      10

      [...] looking at websites that carry, or simply write about and refer to, WikiLeaks documents, including TomDispatch.com, which is publishing this piece. (That, in turn, means my colleagues at State won’t be able [...]

      09/27/11 9:43 PM | Comment Link

    • Peter Van Buren: WikiLeaked at the State Department — War in Context said...

      11

      [...] looking at websites that carry or simply write about and refer to WikiLeaks documents, including TomDispatch.com, which is publishing this piece.  (That, in turn, means my colleagues at State won’t be [...]

      09/27/11 10:00 PM | Comment Link

    • When freedom’s not free at the State Department | BLOGSPOT TEMPLATES said...

      12

      [...] during websites that lift or simply write about and impute to WikiLeaks documents, including TomDispatch.com, that is edition this piece.  (That, in turn, means my colleagues during State won’t be [...]

      09/27/11 10:19 PM | Comment Link

    • Freedom Isn’t Free at the State Department « LobeLog.com said...

      13

      [...] looking at websites that carry or simply write about and refer to WikiLeaks documents, including TomDispatch.com, which is publishing this piece.  (That, in turn, means my colleagues at State won’t be able to [...]

      09/28/11 4:42 AM | Comment Link

    • Fired for a Blog Post? A State Department Employee Explains How Sharing a Link to WikiLeaks Lead to Interrogation « MasterAdrian's Weblog said...

      14

      [...] looking at websites that carry or simply write about and refer to WikiLeaks documents, including TomDispatch.com, which is publishing this piece.  (That, in turn, means my colleagues at State won’t be able to [...]

      09/28/11 1:50 PM | Comment Link

    • Tomgram: Peter Van Buren, WikiLeaked at the State Department « WAMMToday said...

      15

      [...] looking at websites that carry or simply write about and refer to WikiLeaks documents, including TomDispatch.com, which is publishing this piece.  (That, in turn, means my colleagues at State won’t be able to [...]

      09/30/11 2:25 AM | Comment Link

    • Peter van Buren interrogated (& might be charged) for linking his blog to Wikileaks | Negotiation Is Over! said...

      16

      [...] looking at websites that carry or simply write about and refer to WikiLeaks documents, including TomDispatch.com, which is publishing this piece (That, in turn, means my colleagues at State won’t be able [...]

      10/6/11 1:49 AM | Comment Link

    • George Robinson said...

      17

      RUSSEL B……

      “”We hardly remember that tens of thousands of Scandinavians flocked into the Nazi SS during World War II — they probably just joined the Norse Freikorps, SS-Wiking Panzer and SS-Norland Panzer-Grenadier divisions for the food and the nifty uniforms.

      Glass houses, Göran. People living in them shouldn’t throw stones.”"
      Whenever a Scandinavian critises the USA, its always the same reply…….Scandinavians who fought on the side of the Nazis……….whilst at the same time, the US Ford motor co had factories in Germany during the first 27 months of the 2ndWW, manufacturing 10s of thousands of heavy trucks for the Nazis which enabled them to wage agressive war against Gt Britain and other countries……….people who live in glass houses shouldnt throw stones, you Yanks are doing it all the time

      10/27/11 8:20 AM | Comment Link

    • May 9 — Tomgram: Peter Van Buren, If the Government Does It, It’s “Legal” « bearspawprint said...

      18

      [...] federal employees were warned to stay away from the cables online, and the State Department even blocked TomDispatch from its staff to shield them from alleged WikiLeaks content (some of which was linked [...]

      05/9/13 2:27 PM | Comment Link

    • Homeland Insecurity | Thought FTW said...

      19

      [...] federal employees were warned to stay away from the cables online, and the State Department even blocked TomDispatch from its staff to shield them from alleged WikiLeaks content (some of which was linked [...]

      05/9/13 3:01 PM | Comment Link

    • Peter Van Buren: If the government does it, it’s ‘legal’ — War in Context said...

      20

      [...] federal employees were warned to stay away from the cables online, and the State Department even blocked TomDispatch from its staff to shield them from alleged WikiLeaks content (some of which was linked [...]

      05/9/13 3:46 PM | Comment Link

    • Peter Van Buren: Homeland Insecurity | Political Ration said...

      21

      [...] federal employees were warned to stay away from the cables online, and the State Department even blocked TomDispatch from its staff to shield them from alleged WikiLeaks content (some of which was linked [...]

      05/9/13 4:07 PM | Comment Link

    • Peter Van Buren> Homeland Insecurity> Seven Years, Untold Dollars to Silence One Man | WAMMToday said...

      22

      [...] federal employees were warned to stay away from the cables online, and the State Department even blocked TomDispatch from its staff to shield them from alleged WikiLeaks content (some of which [...]

      05/9/13 4:34 PM | Comment Link

    • Obama's War on Whistleblowers who are trying to out Government Waste, Fraud (Van Buren) | Informed Comment said...

      23

      [...] federal employees were warned to stay away from the cables online, and the State Department even blocked TomDispatch from its staff to shield them from alleged WikiLeaks content (some of which was linked [...]

      05/10/13 4:18 AM | Comment Link

    • Obama’s War on Whistleblowers who are trying to out Government Waste, Fraud (Van Buren) | Blog Post Directory said...

      24

      [...] federal employees were warned to stay away from the cables online, and the State Department even blocked TomDispatch from its staff to shield them from alleged WikiLeaks content (some of which was linked [...]

      05/10/13 4:45 AM | Comment Link

    • Arab News Blog » Obama’s War on Whistleblowers who are trying to out Government Waste, Fraud (Van Buren) said...

      25

      [...] federal employees were warned to stay away from the cables online, and the State Department even blocked TomDispatch from its staff to shield them from alleged WikiLeaks content (some of which was linked [...]

      05/10/13 1:20 PM | Comment Link

    • Homeland Insecurity | Perspectives, What Matters Today | BillMoyers.com said...

      26

      [...] federal employees were warned to stay away from the cables online, and the State Department even blocked TomDispatch from its staff to shield them from alleged WikiLeaks content (some of which was linked [...]

      05/11/13 3:54 PM | Comment Link

    • 1984 WAS AN INSTRUCTION MANUAL: WELCOME TO THE MEMORY HOLE | sreaves32 said...

      27

      [...] blocks its employees from viewing Wikileaks and Edward Snowden material (as well as websites like TomDispatch) on their work computers — though not of course at home. [...]

      12/4/13 6:25 PM | Comment Link

    • Cómo hacer desaparecer la verdad en Internet | publicogt.com said...

      28

      [...] sus empleados el acceso a Wikileaks y a material relativo a Edward Snowden (así como sitios como TomDispatch) en sus computadoras de trabajo; aunque no, por supuesto, en las de sus casas. Por [...]

      12/8/13 3:46 PM | Comment Link

    • Como o poderoso mundo da inteligência está à beira da capacidade de fazer as pessoas desaparecer digitalmente | Blog do Zé Antonio Filardo said...

      29

      [...] funcionários de visualizar material do Wikileaks e de Edward Snowden (bem como sites tais como TomDispatch  ) em seus computadores de trabalho – embora, naturalmente, não em casa. [...]

      12/10/13 8:14 PM | Comment Link

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      [...] blocks its employees from viewingWikileaks and Edward Snowden material (as well as websites like TomDispatch) on their work computers—though not of course at home. [...]

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