Oops! That’s a National Secret!

It is easy to do with technology, to make public something accidentally that you don’t mean to publish. In this case, it appears that the Government Printing Office was following instructions to make the “highly confidential” document public. Somewhere, there was a breakdown in the decision making or communication process. Oops! Source: NY Times, June 2nd 2009.

The federal government mistakenly made public a 266-page report, its pages marked “highly confidential,” that gives detailed information about hundreds of the nation’s civilian nuclear sites and programs, including maps showing the precise locations of stockpiles of fuel for nuclear weapons.

The publication of the document was revealed Monday in an online newsletter devoted to issues of federal secrecy. That set off a debate among nuclear experts about what dangers, if any, the disclosures posed. It also prompted a flurry of investigations in Washington into why the document had been made public.

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About repplinger

John has served as a Reference Librarian at Willamette University since 2002. He is the liaison to the Science Departments, and is responsible for maintaining the collections related to the life & physical sciences. His research interests range over the entire spectrum of libraries and information sciences, but includes: - Google and its influence on information & society - The Internet's influence on information seeking & sharing behaviors - Trends of scholarly communication - Electronic learning environments - Traditional pedagogy - GIS use in academic libraries

Posted on June 3, 2009, in Privacy and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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