The Department of Homeland Security warned employees not to disclose any “nonpublic information” to the public or they would face criminal or civil “consequences” in an email Thursday, BuzzFeed News reports. “A violation of the public trust might arise, for example, if DHS personnel disclose nonpublic information or use it for their own personal benefit, such as for monetary gain, or for the private gain of others,” Chip Fulghum, deputy under secretary for management, reportedly wrote in the email reviewed by BuzzFeed News. “[S]uch unauthorized use or disclosure would be considered a misuse of position and, depending on the nature of the information disclosed, could expose the DHS employee to personal criminal, civil, or administrative consequences.” Fulghum reportedly wrote that “nonpublic information” included info employees knew should not be made public, was designated confidential, or would not be disclosed through a Freedom of Information Act request. A former DHS official told the website the email warning against leaking may indicate that a “significant unauthorized disclosure” was made.
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