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State Dept. Denies WikiLeaks Warning to Columbia

A shot of the WikiLeaks homepage.
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Updated 8:30 p.m. ET

A State Department spokesman denies that anybody in the agency sent an e-mail to Columbia University warning students at the School of International and Public Affairs not to comment online about WikiLeaks if they were considering a diplomacy career.

The Huffington Post received a message from State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley that reads:

"This is not true. We have instructed State Department employees not to access the WikiLeaks site and download posted documents using an unclassified network since these documents are still classified. We condemn what Mr. Assange is doing, but have given no advice to anyone beyond the State Department to my knowledge."

Earlier, a spokesman for the Ivy League school confirmed Saturday that the Office of Career Services sent an e-mail to students at the School of International and Public Affairs.

The Nov. 30 e-mail says an alumnus at the U.S. State Department had contacted the office, saying the diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks were "still considered classified."

The e-mail said online discourse about the documents "would call into question your ability to deal with confidential information."

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The Huffington Post has posted a full version of the e-mail, which reads, "[The alumnus] recommends that you DO NOT post links to these documents nor make comments on social media sites such as Facebook or through Twitter," the Office of Career Services advised students. "Engaging in these activities would call into question your ability to deal with confidential information, which is part of most positions with the federal government."

Most federal government jobs require a background check.

WikiLeaks has been releasing a trove of sensitive U.S. diplomatic cables over the past week.