Warning: Read WikiLeaks Documents, No Fed Job For You
(CNN) -- U.S. agencies have warned some employees that reading the classified State Department documents released by WikiLeaks puts them at risk of losing their jobs. But what about students considering jobs with the federal government? Do they jeopardize their chances by reading WikiLeaks?
It's a gray area, said law professors and national security experts who spoke with CNN. The topic has been debated intensely in the past week in legal and academic circles, ever since several U.S. universities sent e-mails to students with warnings about reading leaked documents.
They say students ought to be mindful of their future careers when commenting on or distributing the documents online -- especially those planning to seek jobs in national security or the intelligence community, which require a security clearance.
"The security clearance asks whether or not you're a risk when it comes to sensitive material. This could be one indicator that, when taken together with others, creates a broader pattern that might suggest you're not a person to be hired," said Pepperdine University law professor Gregory McNeal, who specializes in national security law.
"They may very well take into account your opinion, as a job candidate, whether or not you think WikiLeaks is a good thing or bad thing for the country," he said. "It's a small issue, but one to approach with caution if I were a student seeking a job in the national security field."
E-mails went out last week to students at several schools, including Boston University's School of Law, Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, cautioning students against commenting on or posting links to the documents on social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter.
Each message came from the schools' offices of career services, claiming to be sent at the recommendation of an alumnus.
In the eyes of the federal government, the documents remain classified, "thus, reading them, passing them on, commenting on them may be seen as a violation of Executive Order 13526, Classified National Security Information," said Maura Kelly, Boston University law assistant dean for career development and public services, in an e-mail to students.
"Two big factors in hiring for many federal government positions are determining if the applicants have good judgment and if they know how to deal with confidential/classified information," Kelly said in the memo, which was posted on the law blog "Above The Law" last week.
A Boston University spokeswoman confirmed that the e-mail had been sent, adding that students are "free to make their own choices."
Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>
SPOKANE, Wash. - A 32-year-old Spokane man was sentenced to 30 years in prison Tuesday, after he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges, firearms offenses and threatening witnesses. The United States Attorney's Office reported Tuesday that Aren Lee Perryman, aka Filthy, pleaded guilty to Trafficking in Methamphetamine and Heroin; Possessing and Using Firearms in Connection with Drug Trafficking; and Intimidating and Threatening witnesses.>>
DETROIT (AP) - Graco Children's Products is recalling more than 25,000 car seats because the harness webbing can break in a crash and may not keep children restrained. The recall affects certain My Ride 65 convertible seats made on July 22, 2014 with a code of 2014/06 on a tag that's on the webbing.>>
By David Winter ABC Fox Montana/KTMF A Chicago woman visiting family in Montana captivated the nation for nearly a week as she was lost in the woods. Then miraculously, found alive and well with her dog, Mogie. Now Madeline Connelly, her family and members of the search crew are sharing their stories from Maddie's seven days alone in the woods.>>
BALTIMORE (AP) - More than 8,000 patients of a Johns Hopkins gynecologist accused of secretly recording pelvic exams will soon receive their share of a $190 million settlement. The Baltimore Sun reports the final allocation plan was approved Monday. Retired Maryland Court of Appeals Judge Irma Raker, who served as claims adjudicator in the class-action case, says the checks ranging from about $1,900 to nearly $28,000 sh...>>
LEAVENWORTH, Wash. - Update: 6:15 p.m.: Washington Emergency Management says fire mobilization for a wildfire near Leavenworth has been approved. About 168 homes and cabins in the area of the fire are under level three evacuation.>>
BOUNDARY COUNTY, Idaho - The Boundary County Sheriff's Office reports that deputies and emergency crews responded to Eastport to assist the United States Border Patrol on Monday. A man had reportedly gone into the Moyie River. He was unresponsive when he was pulled from the water by Border Patrol Agents.>>