• Wikileaks Prompts New Security Procedures at State Department

    September 2, 2011

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    Posted in: Embassy/State, Iraq, Other Ideas

    An encrypted WikiLeaks file containing 251,000 unredacted US State Department cables is now widely available online, along with the passphrase to open it. The release of the documents in raw form, including the names of US informants around the globe, has raised concerns that dozens of people could now be in danger.

    The release has prompted new security procedures at State. The State Department has previously banned its staff from viewing the Wikileaks site, and has punished employees who view the leaked cables, or included links to them on blogs.

    The new security measures take things a step further.

    According to a Department Notice released today, all State Department employees are now required to take an oath of silence. Similar to monks, no one is allowed to actually speak within the building. To avoid further leaks, communication of an urgent nature will be done via gestures, mime and interpretive dance (PA only). The Department spokesperson, gesticulating wildly, fruitlessly engaged the media in an attempt to explain the new policy. She was saved from further frustration when one reporter produced a Pictionary game set.

    Written communication remains a vulnerable point. In response, all reports from the field will be written on white board using dry erase markers, couriered back to Foggy Bottom by eunuchs and licked clean by interns and Entry Level Officers currently being trained for the task.

    When a State Department employee now tries to access the Wikileaks site, s/he will find a “warning page” similar to those typically found on porno sites, with one button labeled ENTER and another labeled EXIT.

    The Bureau of Diplomatic Security, formerly engaged full-time in witch hunts against Foreign Service Officers who glanced at the Wikileaks site, planned a new role for itself as enforcer of silence. Security personnel wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan “Shut the Barn Door After the Horse has Left” were deployed at strategic spots with roles of duct tape. “It’s for their own damn good,” mimed one uniformed officer.

    “We’ve been deaf and blind for a long time,” said a diplomat moments before the new rules took place, “so adding dumb to the list seems a small price to pay for security.”

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