The Army is blocking all access to The Guardian newspaper's reports about the National Security Agency's sweeping collection of data about Americans' email and phone communications, an Army spokesman said Thursday.
The Monterey (Calif.) Herald reported that employees at the Presidio of Monterey, an Army public affairs base about 100 miles south of San Francisco, were unable to gain access to The Guardian's articles on former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and his professed leaks of classified information about the intelligence programs.
Late Thursday, an Army spokesman told The Herald by email that the newspaper's NSA reports were, in fact, being blocked across the entire Army. He wrote that it's routine for the Defense Department to take "network hygiene" action to prevent disclosure of classified information, The Herald reported.
"We make every effort to balance the need to preserve information access with operational security," the newspaper quoted the spokesman as saying. "However there are strict policies and directives in place regarding protecting and handling classified information."