Skip to main content

Discussing Wikileaks may sever government job opportunities

Wikileaks studentsWikileaks fallout continues, and Julian Assange might not be the only one facing repercussions. Students are being warned to refrain from discussing the contents of Cablegate, and told that any refusal to could threaten their future employment.

The warning was administered specifically to Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs by a member of the State Department, who was a former Columbia student as well. The official made a call to career services, advising that students refrain from posting links to Wikileaks documents or comment on social networking sites that featured information from the leaked documents. The official was quoted in an e-mail to students as saying, “engaging in these activities would call into question [a student’s] ability to deal with confidential information, which is part of most positions with the federal government.”

Related Videos

Employees of the US State Department have been cautioned by the US Office of Management and Budget to keep from viewing the Wikileaks files.

But this might just be a case of a concerned alumni going a bit overboard to protect an alma mater’s current students. The State Department’s spokesperson Philip J. Crowley told The New York Times that there are no specific instructions being issued to students. “If an employee of the State Department sent such an e-mail, it does not represent a formal policy position.”

Either way, the rogue State Department employee may have scared future government employee hopefuls into censoring their search engines. Yale Daily News ran a small report on the Columbia situation, also warning students who hope to work for the State to resist commenting or posting anything regarding Wikileaks.

See the entirety of Columbia’s email warning to students below.

From: “Office of Career Services”

Date: November 30, 2010 15:26:53 EST:

Hi students,

We received a call today from a SIPA alumnus who is working at the State Department. He asked us to pass along the following information to anyone who will be applying for jobs in the federal government, since all would require a background investigation and in some instances a security clearance.

The documents released during the past few months through Wikileaks are still considered classified documents. He recommends that you DO NOT post links to these documents nor make comments on social media sites such as Facebook or through Twitter. Engaging in these activities would call into question your ability to deal with confidential information, which is part of most positions with the federal government.

Office of Career Services

Editors' Recommendations

WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange: Facebook an ‘appalling spying machine’
Julian Assange (WikiLeaks)

Facebook is "the most appalling spying machine ever invented," according WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who recently spoke with Russia Today, while awaiting extradition from England to Sweden on sexual assault charges.

"Here we have the world’s most comprehensive database about people, their relationships, their names, their addresses, their locations, their communications with each other, and their relatives, all sitting within the United States, all accessible to US Intelligence,” said Assange during the interview.

Read more
AOL going on hiring binge for Patch; more job cuts likely

After severe job cuts last month and news that disgruntled ex-Huffington Post writers will sue, AOL is about to hire hundreds of new writers. According to Bloomberg, part of the site’s restructuring will include hiring up to 800 full-time new staff members for Patch, which focuses on localized content. Good news for unemployed writers out there – bad news for current AOL and Huffington Post freelancers, many of which the hiring spree will eliminate.

Patch is currently up and running for 19 states and some 800 communities, and newly appointed editor in chief Arianna Huffington says that “Each site will now have its own team. It’s always great and better to have a team.” Sure, except for Patch’s current local editor and various freelancers currently responsible for content who now must fear being replaced. But Huffington seems undaunted and committed to the overhaul AOL is going through post merger, and wants to heighten Patch’s social element.

Read more
Facebook gets technical, announces Open Compute Project
facebook gets technical announces open compute project server

Sure, it wasn’t Facebook’s take on Groupon it announced today, but its new Open Compute Project definitely deserves a mention. The social network started off its live-streamed event this morning by explaining that no exciting new products or applications were being introduced today, while also reminding us that its data center and servers are how the site is able to create and power these features.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg and late VP of technical operations Johnathon Hieliger explained the difficulties social platforms have working with traditional, rented data servers. Hieliger likened it to living in a rented apartment where everything works, but you can’t paint the walls or tweak much to add your own personality. He also mentioned that while this depends on the flexibility of the individual data center, engineering social products and applications would be more cost and time efficient if something were engineered specifically to this end. And what Facebook wants, Facebook gets.

Read more