US Air Force Blocks Sites Carrying WikiLeaks Cables

The US Air Force is banning its personnel from using work computers to view media sites that have published diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, a spokeswoman has announced.

Air Force Major Toni Tones said that over 25 sites - including the New York Times and The Guardian - have been blocked to prevent personnel from viewing classified material.

"This is consistent with the direction received in August 2010 that stated Air Force personnel should not access the WikiLeaks website to view or download the classified information," Tones told CNN.

Tones said that not all of the sites were WikiLeaks related, but couldn’t explain what the sites were or why they are blocked. The ban does not apply to personal computers, however.

The announcement follows the White House Office of Management and Budget, in a notice sent 3rd December, banning employees and contractors from reading classified documents posted to the sites, even when using a personal computer outside of work hours.

The ban has not been implemented across the entire Department of Defence (DoD), with the Army, Navy and Marines saying they have not taken such action.

Defense Department spokesman Col. David Lapan, in an e-mail to the New York Times, said: “This is not DoD-directed or DoD-wide.”