‘Unauthorized’ media contact a fireable offense for U.S. intel employees

United States intelligence employees who have “unauthorized” contact with the media could lose their jobs.

A directive signed on Sunday by James Clapper, director of national intelligence, prohibits intel officials from providing “substantive information” to the media without the approval of an agency chief or public affairs official, according to a recent report by The Guardian.

The cases that involve unapproved contact with the media will at a minimum “be handled in the same manner as a security violation,” the directive reads. Clapper's spokesman said that the new media policy is meant to serve as an example that the intelligence sector of the government can “police” itself.

He added that the new orders are in no way tied to the Edward Snowden leaks, which have fueled media skepticism toward the intelligence community.

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