[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/CRIME/12/08/wikileaks.students/t1larg.reading.wikileaks.afp.gi.jpg width=300 height=169]Emanuella Grinberg
U.S. agencies have warned some employees that reading the classified State Department documents released by WikiLeaks puts them at risk of losing their jobs. But what about students considering jobs with the federal government? Do they jeopardize their chances by reading WikiLeaks?
It's a gray area, said law professors and national security experts who spoke with CNN. The topic has been debated intensely in the past week in legal and academic circles, ever since several U.S. universities sent e-mails to students with warnings about reading leaked documents.
They say students ought to be mindful of their future careers when commenting on or distributing the documents online - especially those planning to seek jobs in national security or the intelligence community, which require a security clearance.
"The security clearance asks whether or not you're a risk when it comes to sensitive material. This could be one indicator that, when taken together with others, creates a broader pattern that might suggest you're not a person to be hired," said Pepperdine University law professor Gregory McNeal, who specializes in national security law.
"They may very well take into account your opinion, as a job candidate, whether or not you think WikiLeaks is a good thing or bad thing for the country," he said. "It's a small issue, but one to approach with caution if I were a student seeking a job in the national security field."
E-mails went out last week to students at several schools, including Boston University's School of Law, Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, cautioning students against commenting on or posting links to the documents on social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter.
Filed under: 360° Radar
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/12/09/art.vert.getty_salvationarmy.jpg width=292 height=320]Tom Foreman | BIO
Reporter's Note: President Obama is facing some pretty steep challenges to his latest plans, especially in regard to the tax cuts. Ah well, sometimes even seemingly impossible tasks work out fine.
Dear Mr. President,
I realize that you are embroiled in a big tax fight, the passing of Elizabeth Edwards is still fresh and painful for many folks in DC, and all the regular, difficult business of the White House churns on. I suppose I should have something helpful to say about some or all of that, but I just don’t today. Not sure why. So I thought I’d tell you about a little incident that occurred right outside of our building here on Columbus Circle.
When I am in New York I prefer to take the subway to most places. I don’t mind the expense of cabs, but I do dislike how slow they are. I mean this in a relative sense, of course, since many tourists and locals alike can attest to the crazy, rocket speed careening they have enjoyed at the hands of NY cabbies. Still, compared to the subway, especially at a busy time, cabs and other cars just can’t compete.
In any event, I emerged from a subway stop alongside Central Park, with the sun shining brightly and a cold wind whipping. People were rushing every which way, a river of cars was swirling past, and dead ahead a Salvation Army bell ringer was adding to the din.
I am not a superstitious person, but when I was a child I developed a habit of always dropping something into the Salvation Army kettles when I pass. Their group does a lot of really excellent work to help people in need, and I feel as if it would somehow be a type of blasphemy to slip by without helping out. So I pulled out my wallet, extracted a five dollar bill (the denomination matters only because of what follows,) and happily went up to stuff it into the shiny red pot. The bell ringer wished me a Merry Christmas and I was turning to say the same when a gust ripped the bill from my fingers, out of the pot, and down the sidewalk. He and I shouted simultaneously with surprise, and I took off in pursuit. The bill zigzagged through the sea of feet. It jumped into the air on cross currents, ricocheted through legs and bags, and skittered along the curb threatening to dive into traffic where it would surely be lost.
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