WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- The Internet whistle-blower site WikiLeaks is off-limits to U.S. State Department staff, department employees say.
The Christian Science Monitor reported Wednesday the department has directed its staff worldwide to steer clear of WikiLeaks, which has dumped hundreds of thousands of documents related to U.S. military activities in Iran and Afghanistan and, most recently, diplomatic cables dealing with interactions with nations around the world. A department representative said the ban could not be confirmed, the Monitor said.
The online U.S. newspaper said it's not clear when the Web-surfing restriction was put in place at the State Department. The Defense Department issued a similar edict after the war documents came out.
The Monitor said WikiLeaks' ability to get its hands on so many documents is pushing the agency toward greater restrictions on the flow of information it deems confidential.
"We want to make sure that our documents are adequately protected and that we have the ability to detect if anything like this occurs in the future," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said Tuesday.
The department, he said, "has narrowed, for the time being, those who have access to State Department cables across the government."