Linking to Wikileaks Will Hurt Chances of Landing Federal Jobs

Photo: Ian Sane

Linking to Wikileaks documents or commenting on them online may affect your chances of getting a job with the federal government, warns a recent email from Columbia University's Career Services Office to its students.

The advice came from a Columbia alumnus who is working at the State Department.

A Columbia University student forwarded me the following email:

From: Office of Career Services <>

Date: Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 3:26 PM

Subject: Wikileaks - Advice from an alum

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

(Emphasis added by Wise Bread)

Wise Bread does not have an official position on this subject. I'm not saying you should or should not link to Wikileaks. But if you do so, just know that it might negatively affect your government job application.

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Guest's picture
Cate Long

This is the saddest thing that I've read yet on the Wikileaks saga.

Guest's picture

Should a government be allowed to keep secrets from its own citizens? Taken to extreme, should the government be required to publish nuclear launch codes on the front page of your fav daily newspaper? How about the names (real and fictitious) of its spies/intelligence operatives in foreign countries?

WikiLeaks supporters would argue "Yes" to both in the name of "freedom from censorship". High treason is what I would call either acts.

p.s. These same wikileak supporters are prolly the same ones arguing for "privacy" (or lack thereof) on the internet, especially at Facebook and/or Google. Hypocrite much?

Guest's picture

How absolutely craven.

Guest's picture

Being married to a military member, I have no problem with this. Endanger my husband's life, you don't deserve a job in government.

Guest's picture

They are so much afraid!!!


Guest's picture

I do have a problem with this. Their office of career services has absolutely no business telling students what they should and should not read or discuss. This is a university first, right?

Oh dear, have I been living in some sort of fantasy where schools are supposed to be something more than employment tracks and degree mills? How despicably idealistic of me.

Guest's picture

But really someone really had to spell that out for students, or for anyone for that matter. I don't know what I think about the whole issue yet. But with everything being said by those in power and the general warnings about TMI passed out online coming back to bite people isn't that a given.

Andrea Karim's picture

I actually heard that a spokesperson for the State Department had claimed that no one had been authorized to direct anyone not to link to Wikileaks - she said something along the lines of "We're not in the business of policing discussionof current events." Of course, I can't find a link now.

Will Chen's picture

You're already on my watch list Andrea. Or was the hot list? Either way, you have been WARNED!

Guest's picture

Apparently the war on terrorism means the first amendment doesn't apply. Its a bit ridiculous when you can't even comment on something that isn't a crime.

Guest's picture

This is just one step before thoughtcrime.

Guest's picture

Where is your line in the sand?
How much censorship are you willing to tolerate?
What kind of country do you want to live in?
"The diffusion of informatio­n and the arraignmen­t of all abuses at the bar of public reason, I deem [one of] the essential principles of our government­, and consequent­ly [one of] those which ought to shape its administra­tion." --Thomas Jefferson: 1st Inaugural Address, 1801"

Guest's picture

Interesting. I'm not sure what to say. If it could possibly endanger our countrymen who fight for us, I'd have to say scrutinize the people who do link to this information. Then again, just because a student has a discussion over such issues doesn't mean they should be denied a job. Hmmm... I can't say who I fully agree with here. I see both sides.

I do not think that school was in the wrong for letting there students know it could potentially hurt them finding a job. I think if they know this information, it would only be right for them to let they're students know in an effort to protect them and the school itself.