October 6, 2001

Watchdog sites shut down in interest of national security

Author: JT Smith

"The lights are going out all over the Internet," said one person quoted in this San Francisco Chronicle story about Internet sites removing information that might be of potential use to terrorists, in the wake of the Sept. 11 air attacks. Government sites have yanked down information ranging from office maps to contingency plans for chemical attacks, news that hardly comes as a surprise. But even independent government watchdog sites like the Project on Government Secrecy have removed information, including their own maps of CIA facilities and pictures of foreign nuclear power plants. Most of this information is still freely available in libraries and government reading rooms, by the way, and some find the Internet data-removal obsession to be lacking in common sense. Said another subject: "It didn't take a supersecret map for terrorists to find the World Trade Center."


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