Clapper bans U.S. Intelligence Employees From ‘Unauthorized’ Media Contact

Months after the Edward Snowden surveillance disclosures presented US intelligence with a more skeptical media landscape, the intelligence community’s leader has instituted a new media policy: substantive contact with journalists without prior approval can be a firing offense.

Unlike other policies designed to protect classified information, a directive signed on Sunday by James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, is agnostic about the classification status of information his spies, analysts and technical specialists might communicate with the media.

“No substantive information should be provided to the media regarding covered matters in the case of unplanned or unintentional contacts,” reads the directive, which defines “covered matters” as “intelligence-related information, including intelligence sources, methods, activities, and judgments.”

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