Library of Congress Statement

Library of Congress and Access to WikiLeaks Website

 (Information provided on December 21, 2010.)

On December 2, upon learning of the possibility that classified documents could be accessed on Library of Congress systems that are not authorized for classified information, the Library temporarily blocked access to the WikiLeaks website on Library premises.

The Library publicly announced this block, in response to news requests, on December 3, stating “The Library decided to block WikiLeaks because applicable law obligates federal agencies to protect classified information.  Unauthorized disclosures of classified documents do not alter the documents’ classified status or automatically result in declassification of the documents.”

Since that time, the Library has reminded its employees and patrons of their responsibility to comply with laws regarding classified information, regardless of whether the information appears on WikiLeaks or another site, and has developed protocols to protect its systems:   

  • A notice went out to all employees with security clearances on December 3. 
  • An LC Operations Announcement went out to all employees December 7.
  • A notice is to be posted in all reading rooms, preferably at the point where researchers sign in.

 With these protections in place, the Library unblocked the WikiLeaks website, beginning on December 7, and is not currently monitoring access to that site.

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